The future is bleak, Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb said in a letter to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The young man whom Ukraine recognised a political prisoner has been kept in Russia’s jail over a year.
“It is highly unlikely that all this will be over soon. In the near future, I will face death or imprisonment; I will have to spend the next years of my life there if I do not die before going there. They send terrorists there and not all come back alive. Without meds, I will not survive in prison. There is no different option,” he wrote.
According to Pavlo Hryb, when he was about to meet with Russia girl Tatiana Yershova in Homiel, he was alive to the possibility of provocation.
“I understand that it is not my fault, but I am like a trapped animal. I keep blaming myself as I knew where and to whom I was going and I feared I would not return. But I ignored all the warnings and hit the road. But I have decided not to suffer from guilt. One cannot foresee everything. I was trapped like an animal <…> Later, I saw that my suspicios were reasonable. The price is my freedom and life. The biggest disappointment is that my fears proved true. I was betrayed by a weak person,” he said.
A few days ago, Ukraine’s human rights envoy Liudmyla Denisova said that Pavlo Hryb was on the verge of life and death.
“The 20-year-old political prisoner needs urgent heart surgery because his state of health is supercritical,” she stressed.
In August 2017, Pavlo Hryb went missing in the Belarusian city of Homiel. He was allegedly kidnapped by the Russian Federal security Service (FSB). As it emerged later, Russia blacklisted him as a ‘terrorist’ for his criticizing the Kremlin’s policy on the Internet. In Homiel he met with the 17-year-old girl from Sochi who later confessed that the FSB exerted pressure on her. Later, Pavlo Hryb was ‘found’ arrested in Russia’s Krasnodar. After a massive public outcry and diplomatic note, the Belarusian State Border Committee admitted the fact of his border crossing on August 24 and said Hryb had not violated anything. According to a Krasnodar court, the arrest warrant was issued on August 17 (i.e., before Pavlo Hryb crossed the Belarus-Ukraine border), when he was put on the international wanted list.
According to the Russian side, Hryb asked his acquaintance to go off a bomb at a school assembly in Sochi. Ukraine says that the charge was forged.