A resident of Nova Kakhovka, abducted three times, was found in one of the Simferopol detention centers

Дата: 26 July 2023
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Leonid Kondratsky, a resident of Nova Kakhovka, Kherson region, has been held in the Simferopol Detention Center No. 2 for over a year in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Following Russia’s full-scale military invasion and occupying parts of the Kherson region of Ukraine, the man was kidnapped three times. The last time, he was never released, as reported by a Ukrainian non-profit organization, Crimean Human Rights Group.  

A photo of the Simferopol Detention Center No. 2 in Crimea

Leonid Kondratsky, born in 1959, served in the Joint Forces Operations (JFO) in the Eastern part of Ukraine in 2014. He fought near Avdiivka in the Donetsk region for a year and a half.

After the occupation of the Kherson region, the man was kidnapped three times, but the last time, he was never released home.

According to his younger daughter, Iryna Lytvynenko, Kondratsky lived with his civilian wife in Nova Kakhovka, a small city on the left bank of the Dnipro River in the South of Ukraine. After the outbreak of war, they moved to the neighboring town of Tavriysk, but Kondratsky continued to work as the municipal security guard of Nova Kakhovka.

When the Ukrainian authorities organized buses to evacuate civilians from the Beryslav district to Nova Kakhovka, Kondratsky volunteered to work as a driver. In early March of 2022, the Russian occupying forces took him for the first time and held him captive for ten days.

According to Iryna, she immediately realized that her father had been beaten. However, he refused to be examined at the hospital.

“He was breathing heavily. He had a big lump and a swollen leg bruise but claimed he fell. I looked at him and realized that he hadn’t fallen. I am a lawyer and understand what kind of beatings can happen. And the bruise was from the butt of an assault rifle. It had a triangular mark.”

Russian occupying forces tortured the man and tried to find out whether Leonid Adolfovych Kondratsky was the great-grandson of Adolf Hitler.

A week after his release, Russian occupying forces searched his daughter’s house. Then Kondratsky insisted that Iryna and her child leave the city.

“When you are sitting in the basement, they [the occupiers] are very speculative about children and grandchildren. My father said he would not survive it,” Iryna recalls.

According to the woman, her father spent 17 days in Russian captivity the next time, from mid-April to early May of 2022.

On October 7, around 5 p.m., the Russian occupying forces visited Kondratsky’s home for the third time. Until October 18, the man was held on the premises of the security services building in Nova Kakhovka. The left bank of the Dnipro River of the Kherson region of Ukraine continues to be under Russia’s control.

Later, an investigator appointed by the occupiers in Nova Kakhovka told Kondratsky’s family that he had been taken to Russia.

“For them, Russia is both the ‘DPR’ [so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, part of the Donetsk region occupied by Russia since 2014] and the ‘LPR’ [so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, part of the Luhansk region occupied by Russia since 2014] and Crimea [annexed since 2014] is also Russia, they think so. I don’t know where exactly,” Lytvynenko said.

According to the daughter of the captured Ukrainian, the Russian military detained him so that he would cooperate with them and provide them with information. They were looking for some residents.

“I didn’t know I had so many friends.” Those whom I thought were good friends turned me in because I was for Ukraine and in the JFO,” he told his family.

ZMINA Human Rights Center, together with Ukrainian and international partners, documents incidents of enforced disappearances, detentions, and abductions of civilians in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. If your relatives have disappeared or you have fears that they might have been kidnapped, please write to our e-mail address es@humanrights.org.ua. Our representative will contact you.

With the consent of the applicant, the received information will be used for appeals to national and international investigative bodies, as well as international organizations, in particular to the United Nations (UN) Committee against Torture, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the Events in Ukraine, the UN Monitoring Mission on Human Rights in Ukraine, the International Criminal Court, etc. to document and further investigate war crimes committed in Ukraine and bring the guilty to justice.

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