Ivan Yatskin

Ivan Yatskin

“My father is the closest person to me - he is my everything. I could literally talk to him about anything. And although I live in Lviv and my father was living in the Crimea, we talked every single day. And now I don't have this opportunity. My father and I had a strong connection. On October 16, 2019, when he was detained in the Crimea, I felt it: I woke up at night and realized that something had happened,” recounts Kateryna Yatskina, the daughter of the Crimean political prisoner Ivan Yatskin.

On October 16, 2019, Russian special services detained Ivan Yatskin in the occupied Crimea. On the same day, a court in Simferopol remanded him in custody, he was transferred to Moscow to “Lefortovo” pre-trial detention center, where he is still being held. On June 11, 2020, the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow left the Ukrainian political prisoner behind bars for another two months - until August 16. Ivan Yatskin is accused of allegedly passing to Ukraine information that is a state secret of the Russian Federation (Article 275 of the Criminal Code). Details of the case are unknown, as it is classified. Ivan Yatskin faces up to 20 years in prison. He denies all accusations of guilt.

“He was detained in the morning, the trial took place at noon, and in the evening, he was transferred to Lefortovo. But we did not know for two months where and how he was. My father's wife wrote to the FSB headquarters, but there was no response for two months. And then it arrived saying that he was being held in “Lefortovo”,” recalls the political prisoner’s daughter.

Ivan Yatskin was born in the village of Voikove, Pervomaisky District, ARC. He has a law degree, and for the last few years, he worked as a handyman. He has many children, the youngest of whom was born after Yatskin's arrest.

Kateryna Yatskin says that her father was not subjected to physical torture, but instead, he was subjected to psychological pressure. In addition, Ivan Yatskin suffers from a chronic illness and needs special medical support, which he has been unable to receive in the pre-trial detention center.

“My father suffers from chronic illnesses, including thrombophlebitis. He cannot be held in such conditions as he is now. Every six months, my father underwent a number of mandatory procedures and remained in the hospital. Now it is impossible for him to get his necessary treatment. He was scheduled for surgery, but because he was detained, he was unable to access it. According to the lawyer, now my father is being held in satisfactory conditions. That's all we know,” says Kateryna.

Lawyer Mykola Polozov says that despite the information about the COVID-19 outbreak in the pre-trial detention center, no special anti-coronavirus measures have been carried out in “Lefortovo.” Prisoners are given one gauze flu mask a day and once a week, the cell is washed with bleach.