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Oleksandr Babych

Oleksandr Babych

Date of abduction: March 28, 2022

Place of abduction: Hola Prystan, Kherson region

Oleksandr Babych is the mayor of Hola Prystan. Russians abducted him on the morning of March 28, 2022. A week before, he had sent his wife and two daughters away from the occupation, and he flatly refused to leave the community. Since the beginning of the great war, Babych has been organizing food deliveries from neighboring villages and towns, delivering humanitarian aid, and in the evening, together with the concerned residents of Hola Prystan, patrolling the streets against looters. Several times, pro-Ukrainian rallies were held in the city, in which Babych took an active part. In a little over a month of living under occupation, the mayor received several threats against him. The Russians gave him an ultimatum, urging him to cooperate. Eventually, the man was escorted to the city council building, where he had a brief conversation with an FSB representative behind closed doors, after which Babchia was put in a minibus and taken away.

Viktor Maruniak, the head of the village of Stara Zburyivka, who was also abducted by Russians in 2022, speaks about possible reasons for the abduction: “Babych has a patriotic position. I’ve known him for a long time. He has always been active in Hola Prystan, and he served as a deputy of the Hola Prystan City Council for several conferences. He participated in the 2004 Maidan and in the process of dismantling the Lenin monument. After 2014, he helped the army. Every year, money was allocated from the city budget to support the military. Half a million was planned for 2022.”

For more than two years, the mayor of Hola Prystan has been held in Simferopol Detention Center 2 in occupied Crimea. The Russians do not officially confirm his detention, do not press charges, and do not provide him with a lawyer.

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