Mariano Garcia Calatayud

Mariano Garcia Calatayud

Date of disappearance: March 19, 2022

Place of disappearance: Kherson, Kherson region


Mariano is a Spanish citizen. The man was 74 years old when the Russian military abducted him in the center of occupied Kherson. Prior to the full-scale invasion, the man had been living in Ukraine for several years, doing volunteer work, often traveling to the contact line in the east of the country, bringing humanitarian aid to civilians, and visiting orphanages.

“Mariano has a good heart. When he learned about the war in Ukraine in 2014, about the suffering of civilians, he left everything and came here to help people,” says his civilian wife, Tetiana. When Kherson was occupied in 2022, Mariano and other citizens attended pro-Ukrainian rallies, hoping to force the occupiers to leave. On March 19, 2022, Mariano did not return home after one of the rallies. “He managed to call me and tell me that he had come to the gate, but when I went down to open it for him, there was no one at the door,” Tetiana adds. The man was detained in Kherson and later transferred to the occupied Crimea to a detention center where Russians also hold hundreds of Ukrainian civilians.

Witnesses who managed to get out of there say that Mariano’s health condition deteriorated: his legs swelled, and he suffered a heart attack but did not receive proper medical care. The Russians are not pressing official charges against the Spanish citizen. He is being held incommunicado, not allowed to communicate with his family or have a lawyer. Mariano’s wife appealed to the Spanish government, the media, and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine, wrote numerous requests to various institutions in the Russian Federation and occupied Crimea, but has not yet received an official explanation of what Mariano Garcia Calatayud is accused of.

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