Fear and death in “Isolation”: how torture people in the basement of Donetsk

Страх и смерть в "Изоляции": как пытают людей в подвалах Донецка

“Lockdown” – prison fighters “DNR”. The people who had to get there, call it a dungeon, a concentration camp, and even hell.

According to them, almost in the center of Donetsk terrorists don’t just kill physically, and mentally draining. To get a confession, beaten, tortured with electric current, and then every day of being bullied – forced to work hard, simulate executions and raped in front of others. In the five years of the existence of this “institution” it was visited by several hundred people – both militants and local residents suspected of espionage in favor of Ukraine. In particular, 28 months, the terrorists held the journalist and blogger Stanislav Aseev. Most prefer not to recall their experiences. And not only because of the unbearable memories, and most importantly – their family did not know further details. However, respondents up former hostages agree that the truth is important to fix sooner or later the torturers were punished.

That is why they detail, though sometimes anonymously, describe the premises of the prison, the conditions and call the names of those who killed them.

isolated art

Donetsk April 23, 2014. In the city centre already flying the Russian flag, the militants removed from the buildings of the Ukrainian flags, the premises of Donetsk regional state administration under the control of unidentified armed men.

And ten kilometers from the city center, on the basis of the art platform “Isolation” is the first Ukrainian literary festival, which was attended by writers, artists, filmmakers from all over Ukraine Myroslav Marynovych, Irena Karpa, Yuriy Vynnychuk, as well as foreign guests.

Among the latter is a British journalist and writer Lily Hyde.

Now she recalled how between the discussions went under the building of the Donetsk regional state administration – saw insulted the people who told that they in Kiev don’t hear.

“Instead, the festival has been an island of culture. Then all hoping that the situation can be changed through artistic actions, without propaganda,” she recalls.

Base art platform “Insulation”

Art project “Isolation” began in 2010 on the territory of the former factory for the production of insulating materials. Since then the initiative group has organized dozens of meetings and exhibitions. Almost the last event was the literary festival.

“At the time we wanted to show that people who seized the building, does not represent the entire Donetsk. While some in the squares shouted” Russia! Russia! “While others said that Russia in Donetsk, no one is waiting.

Donetsk – a Ukrainian city in which all can freely communicate and exchange opinions, “says Michael Deep, Director of development and communications Fund” Isolation “.

He recalls how the balance of views was invited to take part in the festival Fedor Berezin in Donetsk Pro-Russian writer. He wrote that the Soviet Union won the cold war.

“There must be discussion. We didn’t know that Berezin has become” Deputy defense Minister “DNR”, – adds Mikhail.

June 9, 2014 on the territory of the plant was stopped by armed men. Among them were the soldiers of the battalion “Vostok”.

“They showed a piece of paper in which was written: factory eight acres are now owned by” DNR ” – continues Deep. – said, what to put on” Isolation “humanitarian aid from Russia, but will allow us to work around.

Of course, nobody was going to take part in it – administration “Isolation” announced the capture, and soon the fighters all banned entrance to the territory of the plant. Most of the property and the collection remained there.”

One of the organizers of the seizure of Izolyatsia artists said Roman lyagin, the head of the CEC of the so-called “DNR”, and by regular exhibitions. He and Stanislav Slepnev named “Mongol” (last before the war, he headed an organized criminal group, which was included in the so-called “Centre of operations” of the militants) managed the process on 9 June.

a terrorist base

After the capture platform for open discussions has become a secret object “of the Ministry of state security of DND”, where the focus was not only humanitarian, but also military aid from Russia – kept the weapons and equipment were military.

And there illegally held people.

“Today the name of the place in Donetsk, do not want to say aloud. Even if someone you know gets there, the relatives say,” where people disappear “. It is, indeed, a leper place terrible,” says a resident of Donetsk.

Oleg – from Mariupol, he was released in exchange 29 Dec 2019. At the request draws up a conditional site plan.

Plan of the territory “Isolation”

Starting from the premises factory office. It was here on the first floor of militants equipped camera. First there were five, then add three more. Each could be four to 20 people.

“Bars on the Windows and went outside a Light path. So nobody can see what’s going on inside, glass coated with white paint. Beds improvised, made of iron angles, covered with wooden doors and mattresses. Everywhere surveillance. We were watched 24 hours a day, ” says the former hostage.

Another camera in the basement.

“It got almost all of whom kept in” Isolation, ” continues the former hostage. – Someone was sitting there for a year, someone from a few weeks to a month.

The basement is scary. Drinking water gives a little, the toilet is not output. All the time buzzing a huge fan. From their noise and lack of air unbearable headache. Never know what time it is, and who all day.”

On the second floor of the room where the guards lived and the so-called leadership.

To the right of the office – other building. During the cultural life there was a variety of events, worked café. There, the militants opened to formal dining area. In the basement underneath – arranged interview room.

Opposite – hangars with military equipment, stores of fuel, storage rooms for weapons.

“I’ve seen tank shells, artillery systems of calibre of 122 and 152 mm. At the forty or fifty boxes every. If there’s something inadvertently will arrive, will carry the entire “Isolation “immediately”, – says Oleg.

The released hostages said that the “Isolation” from time to time trained fighters.

“They came to “the Lake”, the base of the so-called special operations forces, commanded by former” Opatovice “Vasily Yevdokimov with the Callsign “Lenin”, says another former hostage Alexander. Young people aged 20 to 30 years, they were given a Russian accent. But we did not exist for them – when we worked, they didn’t pay attention.”

Almost all held in “Isolation” were involved in forced labor. When the militants went to school or front – loaded weapons, and collected scrap metal, the building was dismantled on the bricks, every day, cleaned the yard is cleaned from snow, dust, leaves, worked in the kitchen, caring Pets. Only pigs fighters were held about two hundred, and even chickens, ducks, turkeys, nutria.

And even washed the floor and walls after the torture.

Daily bullying

“In heels” house, – I heard. Where exactly – did not understand, because all the time was with a bag over his head, – says Stanislav Pechenkin, a former civilian hostage in Horlivka. – heard the door open. Understood in the room there are people around.

Later learned that these are the rules: when the door opens, you need to turn around to face the wall, put your hands behind your back, wear a pack.

I put the “a swallow” – pose at the wall with legs wide apart and hands. Standing hard – hands go numb.

The one that brought, said inmates pressed me not to eat, drink, sleep. From time to time someone was hit in the legs and ribs, asked how I cooperated with the security service, spied and discovered the secret of “DNR”.

Pechenkin (pictured) recalls how his for the fun taken out into the yard in the cold season, completely undressed – first beat, then the words “you’re dirty” poured ice water from the cleaner for washing machines

And Pechenkin really cooperated with the security Service of Ukraine. A year before his “arrest” – in 2014-2015 – told what is going on in occupied Gorlovka. However, the hostages were due to accidental photo made on the street.

In the end, Stanislav decided to confess. He removed the package, put behind the table. Then he saw what looked like a camera: it had eight people – four of spies and saboteurs, three local entrepreneurs who supported the “Republic”.

“To held better remembered, they were being led in “cafeteria”- interrogation room – says Stanislav. In the basement were “topic “- army phone, with which the militants generated an electric current.

Man was brought into the room, duct-taped with duct tape and cling film to?? the special table. To move was impossible. Attached the wires to the toes or fingers, toe, earlobes. The worst thing is when to anus, or sex organ, women to the chest.

The feeling from these “procedures” with nothing to compare…

Like all body piercing one, but a very strong cramp. Hellish pain. In memory of him on the body deep burns. People often can not stand – losing consciousness. And all very quickly talk about their activities, come up with something never done, just to end this horror.”

Next the basement was always a doctor. Or the man believed to be the medic. He, according to the testimony of the former retained, revived with loss of consciousness – were given smelling salts, and even chocolate.

“They have to kill targets was not, at this stage it was important to obtain evidence,” says Alexander.

The boss wondered why I didn’t lose consciousness. Other – several times during a “session”, and I – no. Didn’t want to reveal the secret, studied at College in electrics and have experienced in this life.

Knew that killing the current passing through the heart. Therefore not afraid. Others fainted from fear,” – says Oleg.

“If knocked out of the testimony and ceased to scoff – this one, and so we arranged a daily moral and physical terror. Remember, you hear steps on the corridor and think: “not for me “.

Open any iron door and removed the victim. Beaten with fists, feet, baseball bat,

Pechenkin remembers it for the fun taken out into the yard in the cold season, completely undressed – first beat, then the words “you’re dirty” poured ice water from the cleaner for washing machines. And it did as the guards and some held.

The prison held not only the so-called political spies and saboteurs, but the people who participated in the conflict by illegal armed groups. In particular, they recalled Stanislav Aseev in their manuscripts:

“Their so – called “militia” members “ministries” and others – was a real meat, the training material that can literally score at the floor, not caring about the consequences.”

Thus, according to Aseev, “administration” “Isolation” was well aware that for the mockery of his it will not be punished.

“Isolation” was for me an ordeal, because when you hear that bullied – how unwound the tape, as people scream, it becomes very scary. Scared of the fact that you can’t help.

Only sadists can safely to hear and see. And such was on “Isolation” – said the hostage Valentine Buchok, released in December 2017.


Main in “Isolation” has long been considered a fighter with a call sign “p.” or “First”. So called it among themselves terrorists. The prisoners had to hear it, may real name is Denis Pavlovich Kulik (Kulikovsky).

After the release of some hostages saw his photo. However, in the only available photograph “p.” much younger.

“Pavlovich” – Denis Pavlovich Kulik (Kulikovsky)

“In 2017, he was about 35 years old, but he looked awful. We called it seal – complete, with edema, perhaps from the constant use of alcohol, balding” – describes action movie Valentine Buchok.

Pechenkin know a little more about it:

“I lived in Kurakhovo, in 2014 joined the militants. Prior to that, he worked in the jail, in prison. Knew all sorts of bawdy things, tried to arrange the orders of the zone. When drinking, woke up sadistic habits.

Were opened on the subject of homosexuality. Constantly looking for such or appointed among us. Ranked as “lower caste” the “omitted” or “offended” a few people. It’s disgusting to talk about it. Names will not be called.

With such people it was impossible to shake hands, eat at the same table. Even their fighters had no right to beat hands. As punishment could put next to them to sleep.”

Stanislaus Pechenkina kept in “Isolation” until the end of August 2017. For health reasons the guy was transferred to the Donetsk SIZO.

“And before the “p.” was a birthday – he recalls. The celebration continued for several weeks. But the apotheosis of bullying has become 12 August 2017 – then our number eight led to the shooting.

Just ten people. First, he forced everyone to sing songs for the guests Pavlovich: “Arise huge country”, “You’re with me forget about everything,” then started beating.

“First” and his guests, including “doctor” sitting at the table. Subsequently, the Pavlovich exclaimed: “Shoot!” Put on his knees. The guard clicked a few times – there wasn’t one. Guests began to pour”.

“Pavlovich” led “Isolation” until February 2018. After another beating one of the prisoners, he was removed. Instead of him to lead to put the Russians with the call sign “Kuzmich” and Deputy “Pavlovich” Yuru-tanker.

Cooperation with militants

At different times in “Isolation” at the same time kept from ten to 70 people. And guarded them for five to seven jailers.

“Among contained were such that cooperated with the administration. For example, in my time it was the two entrepreneurs, Andrew and Valentine. After the liberation I was asking about their fate in the SBU, because I know that these people have been released and are in controlled areas.

However, the response was that me on the facts of their involvement in torture were not confirmed “, – says Buczak.

But most often, when talking about cooperation with the administration, called the name Evgeny Brazhnikov. For example, Pechenkin said that Brazhnikov poured cold water and beaten to extract confessions.

“I can still hear the voice: “Oleg, I am coming to you,” says the latter. – That hawk moths in the chamber with his own hand wrote my” confession “- these papers I saw in the materials of the” case.”

“We Brazhnikov worked in the kitchen. My task was to carry a huge pot of porridge from camera to camera during lunch. When we came to one of them, where he sat” down,” then before you get the soup, had to say the phrase: citizen of the boss (speaking to the guard) let me make your friend a gift for the New year – the jacket.” “Friend “he called Brazhnikova.

In the end, for the New year the guy had to give the jacket. Brazhnikov took it and put it in the camera “, adds Oleg.

Evgeny Brazhnikov – a former police officer, resigned from the authorities in the late 2000s.

“In 2014, became an active participant of the” Russian spring”, actively helped Pro-Russian rally attacked participants of the Pro-Ukrainian actions. In particular on 13 March, was killed by Dmytro Cherniavsky,” – says Stanislav Pechenkin.

Then Brazhnikov protesters took the red-black flag and made it the cistern in your toilet, like, here he belongs. Eugene himself talked about it in “Isolation”. I later found it on the Internet.

In addition Brazhnikov actively communicated with people who supported the fighters, such as Fedor Berezin, Anatoly Shary. Bought things for terrorists from Slavyansk – sights, thermal imagers. This he also told us in “Isolation”.

Detained militants Brazhnikova deals with weapons, because he could not agree with the “MGB”. When I personally saw Brazhnikova in “Isolation”, already knew that he is a separatist. But first I even felt sorry for him, they say, believed in “the Republic”, and deceived him. But later saw that he has not the order, and on their own, ” says Pechenkin.

UE tried to talk to Eugene Brazhnikov – it also freed in the exchange 29 Dec 2019, he is now in the territories controlled by Ukraine. Brazhnikov explained: in those circumstances, different people may behave differently.

“So you understand, with the administration cooperated all who were taken to work. Someone even raped on the orders of the guards. That happened in “Isolation”, released wanted to forget. Now some may remember,” he says, and says that he is ready to meet with representatives of law enforcement agencies, if they want to question him.

The international court of justice in the Hague

Stanislav Pechenkin recalls how once “isolation”, was shocked.

“Suddenly you find yourself in an atmosphere of constant moral terror. And then even used, he adds. – Life just goes on. When I was going to shoot, I wasn’t scared – it was all the same.”

Legal assessment of the events that take place in Donetsk in the former insulation materials plant, the court must give – if not Ukrainian, then international.

According to Vitaly Hakala, lawyer of the Ukrainian legal Advisory group, what was happening in “Isolation” within the framework of the European court of human rights, can be qualified as a violation of the Convention on human rights – torture and ill-treatment, degrading.

“Besides, now the security service is investigating a big production about the events in the Donbass – adds Hakala. And in it, we are talking about events that happened in “Isolation”. Subsequently, some of the materials, the Ukrainian side has gradually to the international criminal court in the Hague, others consider at the national level as a separate production.”

Страх и смерть в "Изоляции": как пытают людей в подвалах Донецка

Страх и смерть в "Изоляции": как пытают людей в подвалах Донецка

Страх и смерть в "Изоляции": как пытают людей в подвалах Донецка

Страх и смерть в "Изоляции": как пытают людей в подвалах Донецка

Страх и смерть в "Изоляции": как пытают людей в подвалах Донецка