Media: man in occupied Mariupol charged with extremism and tortured. He used to serve in Ukrainian army before war

Dmytro Lysovets, resident of Russia-occupied Mariupol, has been charged with joining an armed and extremist gang and training to commit terrorist activity. He was also tortured to elicit a confession, Grigory Kreshchentsky, Lysovets’s lawyer, told Holod media outlet.

In April, Lysovets attempted to escape Mariupol across the Russian border (the only way to leave the city at the time), as he was scared for his safety “because of the military past”, the lawyer claims. The man served in the Ukrainian volunteer army in 2016-2017 and later as a contract soldier in the Ukrainian army in 2020-2021.

Grigory Kreshchentsky says that Lysovets faced a long line of questions at the border checkpoint and then was arrested for five days for “disobeying police officers”. He then remained in custody for two more months without any charges pressed, the lawyer noted.

Lysovets was labeled “a follower of the ideology of radical Ukrainian nationalism and Russophobia”. The lawyer claims that his client was tortured to elicit a confession.

Kreshchentsky sent an appeal to the regional FSB office of the Rostov region to stop the criminal prosecution. He stressed that Lysovets’s guilt was not proven since the volunteer army is not linked to organisations banned in Russia. Moreover, a person who voluntarily leaves an illegal armed group and returned weapons is freed from prosecution. The lawyer is going to obtain the document confirming that Lysovets willingly left the group and present it in court.

Earlier, Melitopol resident Yaroslav Zhuk said that he confessed under torture to being involved in an explosion near a college on 17 June.

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