Stanislav Asieiev, a former prisoner of the Isolation concentration camp in Donetsk, won this year’s Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine in category “Journalism”. His collection of reports “In isolation”, which documents the horrors of the occupation, was published in 2018, when the militants were still holding the journalist in captivity.
Stanislav Asieiev was 24 years old when the war began. He stayed in Donetsk due to family circumstances: he had to help his mother and two grandmothers. During the occupation, Asieiev continued to work as a journalist, writing articles for Ukrainian media under a pseudonym. He was detained in May 2017, eventually accused of espionage.
Only on December 29, 2019, Asieiev, along with other hostages, were released as part of a large-scale exchange of prisoners. All this time, Ukraine has been raising the issue of Asieiev’s release at the international level and exerting public pressure on Russia to report the journalist’s condition and whereabouts.
But Stas did not know about it. To get rid of bullying and despair, he planned to commit suicide. The man spent 28 months in Donetsk prison “Isolation”, and the only thing he saw was torture and hopelessness. From the description of torture, which the guards resorted to mainly for entertainment, blood turns to ice. After his release, Asieiev will call the territory of the former insulation materials plant at Svitlyi Shliakh Street 3 “Donetsk Dachau”.
According to him, “Isolation” is a concentration camp mainly for “their” people: “It would be a mistake to think that only “Ukrop”(ethnic slur referring to Ukrainians) were mocked in these walls, which included all those who received the Article “espionage”. On the contrary, we were looked at with the expectation of a probable exchange, which meant that a person should not have noticeable scars, burns, fractures. Instead, their own – the so-called “militia”, employees of “ministries”, etc. – were real meat, training material that could be literally killed on the floor without fear of consequences”.
The journalist claims that there are at least 10 more unofficial places of detention in occupied Donetsk.
Released Asieiev repeatedly testified at the PACE as a member of the official Ukrainian delegation about the inhuman cruelty of the executioners-occupiers. From the European rostrum he appears as “a little man – the same no one, hundreds of whom are in basements of Donetsk and Luhansk”. And he tirelessly urges the civilized world to listen to the truth about the crimes against humanity that have been taking place in the heart of Europe for years.
Dmytro LESHCHUK / Gromada Skhid No. 5 (38) 2021