Volodymyr Dudka

Volodymyr Dudka

Date of arrest: 09.11.2016

Charges: terrorism, sabotage. One of the accused in the case of the so-called "Crimean terrorists" (a group of "Sevastopol saboteurs")

Court verdict: 14 years in a maximum-security prison

Waiting for him: Son

“One of the most vivid memories associated with my father comes from far back in my childhood. We then lived near Yevpatoria, where my father was serving. My recollection of how my father drove me on a motorcycle was the first and last time I rode a motorcycle,” said Illia Kavernykov (Dudka), the son of a former Ukrainian serviceman, commander of a Ukrainian Navy command ship, and now a political prisoner, a figure of the so-called “case of Ukrainian saboteurs” Volodymyr Dudka.

Volodymyr Dudka was born in 1964 in the city of Sumy, served in the Ukrainian Navy, and lived in Sevastopol. In 2010 he retired due to his health condition. He likes to travel to the Crimea, especially in the mountains.

On November 9, 2016, Russian security forces detained Dmytro Shtyblikov and Oleksii Bessarabov, employees of the “Nomos” Analytical Center, and their close friend Volodymyr Dudka, in Sevastopol. They were accused of “preparing sabotage in the Crimea at the behest of Ukrainian intelligence.”

In April 2019, the Russian-controlled Sevastopol City Court sentenced Volodymyr Dudka and Oleksii Bessarabov to 14 years in prison, and Dmytro Shtyblikov was sentenced by the same court in November 2017 to 5 years in a maximum-security prison.

Volodymyr Dudka is currently serving his sentence in a maximum-security prison in the city of Stavropol.

In the first days after Volodymyr Dudka`s detention, he was tortured, including with electricity. He later withdrew his testimony because he bore them under torture.

Illia says that his father's health has deteriorated during his imprisonment. “Even before his imprisonment, he had chronic diseases, the main one being an ulcer. Hypertension has already developed in the pre-trial detention center. He also suffers from headaches. Minimal medical care is being provided, but it is not enough,” said the political prisoner's son.

He says that all hope is riding on an exchange. “The appeal has already passed. We no longer have the legal capacity to appeal the verdict. They say that he is on the exchange lists, but it is unknown whether negotiations are underway,” he explained.

“I want to thank everyone who supports us and implements some actions. It is worth continuing to fight because the lives of people who are not guilty of anything depend on it. We must try to help and save these human lives,” Illia Kavernykov (Dudka) concludes.