Victor Shur

Victor Shur

Date of arrest: 07.12.2014

Charges: espionage, treason

Court verdict: 12 years in prison

Waiting for him: Daughter

“Probably, the brightest memories I have are from my childhood. My father has always been a great inventor, and I remember our trips going on vacation to the sea, and before going to bed, he would tell us fairy tales he, himself, had composed,” says Olha Nalimova, the daughter of Viktor Shur, who was unjustly convicted in the Russian Federation.

Viktor Shur is a jeweler, the son of a famous Ukrainian collector of rare icons. He was born and until recently lived permanently in Chernihiv, where his family lived. He had Russian citizenship, which he received after the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to the business he ran in Russia. Prior to his arrest by Russian special services, he was engaged in passenger transportation and collecting antiques, and was a well-known collector. Later, once already in prison, he was granted Ukrainian citizenship.

Viktor was detained in December 2014 for allegedly insulting a police officer and sentenced to 15 days in jail. He was then accused of violating the prison rules, and later the case was reclassified as treason and cooperation with the secret services of a foreign state.

“My father was detained on December 7, 2014, on the border with the Bryansk region--as I understand it, there was a neutral territory between Bryansk and Chernihiv regions. He was detained by the FSB. As I was told, it was a dog and pony show with smoke bombs, and smashing of glass windows in the car. He was allegedly detained while photographing a strategically important object located in the Bryansk region - flooded mines and a long-abandoned military airfield. At the time when he was taking photos, there was an abandoned field where cows were grazing,” explains Olha Nalimova.

In October 2015, the Bryansk Regional Court found Viktor Shur guilty of espionage in favor of Ukraine and sentenced him to 12 years in prison under the article “treason.” He is serving his sentence in Bryansk colony #1 and has already served half of his term.

His daughter says that the Ukrainian consul is reluctant to offer legal support to her father. “It is motivated by the fact that at the time of his detention he was still a Russian citizen. It's just recently that he has restored his Ukrainian citizenship that was first granted upon birth,” says Olha. “When the consul visited him, Father was locked up several times for 12 hours in  solitary confinement without electricity, water, food, or a toilet.”

“The cases of political prisoners are fabricated. These people are not guilty of what they are being accused of. I would like to ask everyone to sign this petition, because innocent people should not spend their years in prison, losing their health, being away from home and being held in such conditions,” Olha Nalimova concludes.