SBU Colonel Notorious for Torturing Militiamen Was Blown up in Mariupol

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The very center of Mariupol. Morning rush hour. Powerful explosion, as if there was a small earthquake, flying windowpanes in neighboring houses, scared people running in all directions. The Land Cruiser SUV that the landmine blew up was immediately set ablaze. The driver was thrown out of the jeep by the blast wave. When the ambulance arrived, he was still conscious, but had lost a lot of blood – the explosion tore off both his legs. He died on the way to hospital.

It became known one hour later that it was the chief of SBU counterintelligence of the Donetsk region Aleksandr Haraberyush who was driving the SUV. And in Donetsk many shuddered at the sight of this surname. The Colonel had ill fame in Donbass for tortures, which, according to militiamen, he did in Mariupol en masse.

“In the so-called Donetsk department of the SBU, special zeal was shown by the department of counterintelligence under the leadership of Aleksandr Haraberyush, who sincerely hated the DPR and Russia, who personally participated in fighting offensives against the DPR, and who was torturing and shooting militiamen for self-gratification,” wrote the former minister of State Security of the DPR Andrey Pinchuk in his book.

“In fact the chiefs gave an example to subordinates. The deputy head of department S. Zhitenev, and chiefs of sectors D. Lisun and A. Yatsenko were extremely zealous. Some of them even “found themselves” during tortures, having got individual specialization. For example, the captain A. A. Lyashko (what the surname does with people!) virtuously mastered the combination of water and electroshock. It is precisely these people who organized a sophisticated system of torture of prisoners and civilians suspected of having sympathy for the DPR”.

Of course, some will wave away these memoirs – saying that it is possible to write anything, who will believe it? But witnesses remained, who by miracle survived after a meeting with Aleksandr Haraberyush. Two sons of Tatyana Homich were detained in August, 2014. Sergey and Vlad were guilty only because on May 9th, when the National Guard attacked the local Department of Internal Affairs (the police refused to obey the orders of Kiev), they helped to pull out the wounded from the burning building of the Department. They were caught on video, and then also on the site “Mirotvorets”. And this is enough to be accused of separatism. At the time the guys were 17 and 18 years old.

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“As my boys understood, SBU members were searching for weapons from warehouses, but Sergey and Vlad knew nothing about it,” told Tatyana Homich to “KP”. “They were dragged for interrogation for four days, and then they even couldn’t orientate themselves in time. The youngest was a little more resilient, while the eldest lost consciousness two times. Vlad said that they injected something into Sergey.”

“They were interrogated by the same Aleksandr Haraberyush?”

“Yes, they were dragged for interrogation, and there they were also tortured. My boys didn’t describe it themselves, but I am a physician and I myself can understand approximately what was being done to them. Their back, slightly lower than the costal part, from the waist to the knees was a completely black hematoma. The swelled-up phalanges of fingers on hands and beaten black-and-blue tops of feet. This bastard probably had such entertainment – to bludgeon the fingers. The finger-tips are sensitive and upon pain urination begins. While this beast with his subordinates was laughing then at the boys that they wet themselves. It’s not the most horrible, but it is morally humiliating. Sergey’s back was slashed, as from birches or a lash. One laceration was under the shoulder blade, and the scar remained.”

Liberation of the guys became possible in the turmoil of the militia’s offensive towards Mariupol, when practically all units of the UAF and National Guard fled the city in fear. Sergey and Vlad were transferred to Russia where they healed their wounds and immediately rushed to the DPR, logically entering the militia. In 2016, when the active phase of military operations diminished, they left the republican army. Sergey went to Moscow, Vlad remained in Donbass, and their mother lives on the line of differentiation of the southern front.

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The Kiev authorities, naturally, put forward as the main version of events acts of terrorism by “separatists” of the DPR. But the unrecognized Republics were not noticed earlier for terrorist activity. This is not their methods of fighting against Ukraine. Acts of State terrorism is a prerogative of Kiev. In Mariupol they say that recently Haraberyush had problems with the command of “Azov”. Whether the business of extorting money for prisoners wasn’t divided appropriately, or the Colonel was overzealous in the interrogation of agents loyal to “Azov”. And for a long time it became customary that the ears of nationalists stick out behind each loud murder in Ukraine. Although Haraberyush could banally transport something in his car inaccurately.

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