Russian FSB abducts Ukrainian teen who went to meet a girl in Belarus

Pavlo Hryb, a teenager from Ukraine, was lured into Belarus and seized by the FSB 

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Pavlo Hryb, a 19-y.o. Ukrainian blogger and activist, was reportedly abducted by Russian security agents during his private visit to Belarus. His relatives and human rights defenders call on the European Court of Human Rights, governments and international organizations to act urgently in order to find, help, and release him as there is a real threat to his life.

On Ukraine’s Independence Day, 24 August, Pavlo traveled from Chernihiv in northern Ukraine to the neighboring Belarusian city of Gomel. He was going to meet a girl from Russia’s Krasnodar Krai he had got to know via a social network and never seen in person before. He expected to spend an afternoon with her and come back to Ukraine on the same day.

Instead, Pavlo was evidently seized by the officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Moreover, there is reason to suppose that a young man was forcibly taken to the territory of Russia, which does not have border control with Belarus under the conditions of the so-called “Russia-Belarus Union State.” According to the joint Russia-Belarus investigation database, the Krasnodar regional branch of the FSB wanted Pavlo in the criminal case of “terrorism.”

His father Ihor Hryb, a former Ukrainian border service officer and a military chaplain, concludes that his son may be held in the remand jail #5 of Krasnodar, where FSB detainees are held. Ihor Hryb also believes that the FSB used the girlfriend to lure his son into the Belarusian trap.

In a telephone interview with Ukrainian journalists, the girl admitted that the FSB had blackmailed her into arranging the meeting in Gomel.

At least five other Ukrainians lured to Russia and arrested

Since 2014, Russian security forces managed to take hostage several Ukrainian citizens in similar ways.

In March 2014, the Ukrainian politician Mykola Karpiuk went to Russia allegedly to negotiate the cancellation of the future illegal “referendum” in Crimea with Russian officials. He ended as a convict in the concocted case of anti-Russian fighting in Chechnya, where he had never been before his arrest. The historian Stanislav Klykh was sentenced in the same case after his Russian girlfriend from the city of Oryol said she was pregnant and asked him to come.

In the summer of 2014, a retired defense industry engineer Yuriy Soloshenko was called to expertize hardware in Moscow but found himself in jail as a “Ukrainian spy.” Fortunately, he was exchanged and returned to Ukraine in June 2016. Another imaginary “spy,” Valentyn Vyhivskyi, was invited to an aviation show in Crimea. He is now serving his eight-year prison term in Kirov Oblast. The Ukrainian war veteran Yevhen Panov was also captured by the FSB in Crimea. Panov was reportedly asked to evacuate a family to mainland Ukraine; the family seems to have been a mystification. Russian propaganda and investigators made Panov a face of the horror story intended to frighten Crimeans and Russians with mysterious “Ukrainian saboteurs.” The latter two prisoners were horribly tortured, like Karpiuk, Klykh and a number of other Ukrainian victims of Russian “law enforcers.”

Hryb – first one kidnapped by Russian FSB outside Russian-controlled territory

Unlike all these cases, the abduction of Pavlo Hryb took place in the territory of the third state, the sovereign Republic of Belarus. Belarusian authorities say that they have neither detained him nor held him in custody in the territory of their republic. The question is why Pavlo was allowed to freely cross the Belarusian border if he was wanted by the security service of another “Union State” member.

It seems that the Belarusian side was aware of the action the Russian officers were going to undertake and agreed to play into FSB’s hand.

“This situation shows that Belarus is under the complete protectorate of Russia,” notes former deputy head of Ukraine’s Security Service, Major General Viktor Yahun. “We have information that in Belarus, there is an FSB group consisting of 30 to 40 persons who permanently work in Minsk.”

Russia has long used the charge of “terrorism” to jail supposed opponents for long years and intimidate the rest of the people: for instance, the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov got 20 and Crimean Tatar activist Ruslan Zeytullaev got 15 years under the same article of the Russian Criminal Code which is now imputed to Pavlo Hryb.

Pavlo Hryb. Photo: courtesy

Pavlo Hryb. Photo: courtesy

Strikingly, Pavlo has never been to Russia at all. Neither had he visited the Ukrainian territories under Russian occupation; he was abroad for the last time in 2012, when he was a child. The only place connected to FSB authority where he stated his firm pro-Ukrainian views was the Russian social network Vkontakte—before it was banned in Ukraine in May 2017.

Since his childhood, Pavlo has a disability related to the work of his blood circulatory system. That is why he was not subject to military conscription. Before his journey to Belarus, he was preparing for an operation. What is most important now, he is in need of specific conditions and care and can suffer a fatal bleeding in case his Russian abductors use force against him.

The family and human rights defenders have asked the European Court of Human Rights to apply interim measures in the situation when there is an apparent threat to his life. They have also called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to use its capabilities in order to save Pavlo. In an open letter published on 4 September, they demand Russia reveal his current whereabouts, health condition, and precise charge, as well as grant the access of doctors, the Ukrainian consul, and an independent lawyer to him. The international community has to pressure the Kremlin into fulfilling all these demands, the signatories of the letter stress, and Belarusian and Ukrainian authorities must carry out the fair investigation of his forced disappearance.

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  1. Murf says:

    Oh come on!
    Hostage taking makes perfect sense when Russia is a mafia state degenerating into Medievalism.
    Next thing you know they will be burning whiches at the stake for putting a hex on the live stock.

    1. Czech Mate says:

      Don’t give them ideas!

  2. zorbatheturk says:

    Further proof that RuSSians are scum.

  3. Scradje says:

    Pootlerstan’s descent into nazism continues to gather pace.

    1. Sania says:

      bastardje , u are crazy ancient mule from ancient desert…

      1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

        Sania…. such language… your Russian app is going to blow up.

        1. Sania says:

          bloody гончipka , shut up

    2. Styx says:

      You are high on salo and gorilka again, brain-damaged Ukrainian idiot.

      1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

        You’re high on the fumes from Putin’s backside comrade.

  4. Terry Washington says:

    Does the FSB have any jurisdiction in Belarus???

    1. Rafael Hernandez says:

      These are typical lies from Ukrainian media. Even the a storm that hit Odessa 1 year ago wss blamed on Russia. A police exercise in ukraine where 5 policeofficers died was Russia’s fault. Ukraine doesn’t take an ounce of responisbility for her own mistakes. Do not believe a single word of Ukrainian media, the educated people know that

      1. Terry Washington says:

        And given your decidedly Spanish (or at least Hispanic) name, HOW are you such an authority on the Ukrainian media??? Are you certain that you are NOT a Russian “troll” peddling “fake news”????

        1. Sania says:

          I am not a troll
          But who is you-????
          May be covered troll…

          1. Terry Washington says:

            I KNOW I am not a “troll” (Russian or otherwise) but WHO are you(and why have you changed your name from Rafael Hernandez)???

          2. Sania says:

            I do not change my name all my life, Sania said since dirty ukra rebel, December of 2013, my big profile is somewhere in twittter under same name

          3. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Embrace the blue and yellow flag Sania. Come out of the dark. Bandera is your father.

          4. Sania says:

            banderlogue , stalin is ur father ,banderrha is ur mother…

          5. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Bandera would have pulled a black widow spider performance comrade Suka

          6. Terry Washington says:

            Then why are you Rafael Hernandez one minute and Sania the next if you are NOT a Russian troll???!!!

          7. Sania says:

            If you are living in United slops of amerigo( not the ukra troll),
            Give me the smart and complex question ,like iPhone 5s…

          8. Terry Washington says:

            I have already SAID that I am british(trace my IP address if you don’t believe me)- but WHAT are you???

          9. Sania says:

            ukropiteck, what or who?

          10. Terry Washington says:

            I think we’re getting away from the central point: DOES the FSB have authority to abduct a Ukrainian citizen on Belarusian soil??? It would be like arguing that MI-5(The security service of the UK) has the right to abduct a Frenchman on American soil

          11. Sania says:

            Any russian organization has not any authority for such hard deals on the territory of another state, even in friendly Belarus’. Luckashenko has own strong system of security . It is really fairy-tale and cheap propaganda at background of ukra bombing of Donetsk, wounding of civilians and own problems of ukra army and government. If you believe west want to bring peace and happy in Syria and in Ukraine I want to keep silence.
            But any clear mind sees west makes wars on Russia borders and wants to
            destroy non-oligarchs states like Syria and Iran.

          12. Terry Washington says:

            Infamy, infamy- infamy- they’ve ALL got it in-fa-me!(as Kenneth Williams’s character put it in the 1964 film Carry On Up The Senate) It used to be a convincing act during the Cold War but few save the most delusional or naive individuals in the West would take it at face value! The trouble with being a congenital liar is that NO ONE believes you even when youe speak the truth!

          13. Sania says:

            yes, west is the congenital liar and sings in power
            “we can make it,
            we can fake it,
            we can break it’ , but voice from background “be attention…”

          14. Terry Washington says:

            “Whataboutery” is the most common form of moral evasion!

          15. Sania says:

            complex and lacing words about liar and about nothing( or stupid fairy tale) are most moral evasion

          16. zorbatheturk says:

            You are covered with Putin’s slime.

          17. Sania says:

            bastardje, u are all in smelly dirt, if ur kinky nose plays game with real modern ukra fasci

          18. zorbatheturk says:

            Bug offsky.

          19. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Human garbage folks

        2. Rafael Hernandez says:

          Take it from someone who has watched Ukraimain media since 2014. They never take responsibily for their own actions, they blame everything on Russia. Just last week Ukrainian media said that the crimean bridge is going to be finished, when that is an obvious lie. They brainwash and disinform Ukrainains

      2. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

        The FSB got the green light from Putin to open fire on innocent, unarmed Ukrainian protesters on the Maidan in February 2014. This youth was probably unarmed. Russian males only attack the young, and women.

        1. Rafael Hernandez says:

          You can’t believe every widow story about Russians from western Ukrainians. Certainly you have been brainwashed pretty well

          1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            In what year did you start tossing Putin’s salad comrade?

    2. zorbatheturk says:

      They don’t wear badges.

      1. Terry Washington says:

        No, but they presumably Do carry ID cards!

        1. zorbatheturk says:

          Last time I asked a plain clothes FSB guy to show me his ID he wasn’t very polite.

          1. Terry Washington says:

            How did you KNOW that he was a FSB officer if he was in plain clothes(like their Soviet era predecessors, KGB, MGB/MVD, NKVD, OGPU, GPU and Cheka) they usually don’t wear their uniforms in public!

          2. zorbatheturk says:

            He looked shifty and spoke in a thick RuSSian accent.

          3. Terry Washington says:

            Did he IDENTIFY himself as a FSB officer???

          4. zorbatheturk says:

            Well now, that would he a rather silly thing to do, wouldn’t it?

  5. Sania says:

    pretty fairy-tale

    1. Rafael Hernandez says:

      Doesn’t even quaiify as a new years eve puzzle.

    2. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

      Sania….you should stop feeling so sexually frustrated. Ukrainian men down south have large ones, not the microscopic RuSSian ones you’re used to.

      1. Sania says:

        животное, go to the prikk…

        1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

          Sania…. is that a way to behave in front of friends. Depending on your face, a Banderite might only have to put three Ukrainian flags on your face to release you from your hate of Russian men.

          1. Sania says:

            гамно, сосi дале

          2. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Don’t speak the language of child killers comrade.

          3. Sania says:

            suka, I know how much children u killed in Donbass

          4. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:


          5. Sania says:

            banderrha the killer, 600 consists from two zero…

          6. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Russians don’t contribute to science because they can’t count.

  6. Czech Mate says:

    Country of mongoloid scumbags- that is RF.

    1. Sania says:

      smelly poliachishko, when I crashed the bottle of vodka in vilnus in 1989 ,
      IN anti alcohol times in ussr, my guide poliachisko to alcohol sale flat , respectable 39 y.o. man did fall on knees before my friend and did even cry ” It is not my deal”
      We said ” Be calm, we give you 5 roubles for your drugstore (cheap) alcohol “

      1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

        That need for Ukrainian sausage is strong in you.

        1. Sania says:

          ur dirty chump ask big penny in ur lowback…
          but where is heat water after deck?

          1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Maybe if you don’t speak, a banderite won’t have to throw two more flags on your face.

          2. Sania says:

            bloody monster, I know u want the blood more than stick to ur back

          3. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            We know where you put Putin’s stick comrade.

          4. Sania says:

            bloody banderlogue , u accept the prikk of cannibalic bandera in ur dirty imagination, but it is the smelly stick of new killer potroshenko

      2. Czech Mate says:

        What is this bot?! All you can do, ruSSky AI experts? LOL

        1. Sania says:

          mraz, still sleeping?
          ill paunch after eurosousage from ukra?

          1. Czech Mate says:

            jeezus, can’t you fix it, Boris? this is too da da vodka