Relatives, colleagues, and neighbors of Mykola Karpiuk testify that his participation in the war in Chechnya is impossible. Image: Social media
A Russian court in Chechnya is accusing two Ukrainians of killing Russian soldiers in the war in Chechnya in 1994-1995 and has denied to consider materials that prove they have an alibi. On May 11, the final stage of the court process will take place in Grozny in Russia’s Chechen republic, after which Mykola Karpiuk and Stanislav Klykh may receive a life sentence for crimes they did not commit. The Russian human rights center Memorial has recognized both as political prisoners, stating that it’s possible to say with a high degree of certainty that Karpiuk and Klykh are not guilty and the investigation has no proof that they had ever been in Chechnya.
Unlike the rest of the Kremlin’s 28 Ukrainian hostages of the #LetMyPeopleGo list, Karpiuk and Klykh are being tried by a jury. There are records from Stanislav Klykh’s university proving that he was studying there in 1994-1995. While there are no documents proving the innocence of Mykola Karpiuk, multiple witnesses can testify that in 1994-1995 Karpiuk was in Ukraine. Mariya Tomak of the Center of Civil Liberties in Kyiv gathered testimonies of his relatives, colleagues, and neighbors in a video, but the judge did not give any chance to present this evidence, proving that Karpiuk and Klykh could not have been physically present in Chechnya at that time, to the jury.
Activists of the LetMyPeopleGo campaign are not giving up – they know that Ukraine has a lot of friends in Chechnya: “We are sure we can make this video reach the 12 residents of Grozny, who accidentally turned out to be the jury in the absurd trial, which has nothing to do with justice,” they write on the page of the campaign.
There is still some time to show the video to those 12 people who will virtually determine the fate of the two innocent Ukrainians. More information in Russian is available here. You can also repost this facebook post in Russian.