FSB Detain Lawyer Nikolai Polozov, Defending Tatar Representatives In Occupied Crimea

January 25, 2017
Nikolai Polozov

Ukraine Day 1073: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Two Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded and the ceasefire has reportedly been broken 51 times.

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.


An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


One Ukrainian Soldier Wounded Yesterday; Heavy Artillery Reportedly Used In Lugansk Region

One Ukrainian soldier was wounded yesterday.

Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told reporters today that the soldier was wounded by enemy fire near Krasnogorovka, west of separatist-held Donetsk city.

According to this morning’s report from the Ukrainian military, Russia-backed forces conducted 55 attacks yesterday. 

The report claims that Russia-backed forces used 122-mm artillery and 120-mm mortars to shell Novozvanovka and Troitskoye in the Lugansk region. Ukrainian positions near Boguslavskoye, near Novozvanovka, were reportedly shelled with 82-mm mortars.

The military also reported the use of mortars in the Donetsk region, with shells fired on Nevelskoye and Avdeyevka, both north of the occupied regional capital.

Other attacks, with grenade launchers and small arms, were reported across much of the south near Mariupol, as well as the west of Donetsk and near Gorlovka.

Meanwhile the pro-separatist Donetsk News Agency (DAN) reports claims from two militant-backed administrations that four houses were damaged by Ukrainian shelling yesterday.

According to the report, two houses were damaged in the separatist-held outskirts of the village of Zaytsevo, north of Gorlovka, and another two in Yasinovataya, northeast of Donetsk city.

— Pierre Vaux

Lawyer Polozov Released, Says Arrest By FSB Qualifies As ‘Kidnapping’

RFE/RL’s Anton Naumlyuk reports that lawyer Nikolai Polozov has now been released by the FSB in occupied Crimea.

Translation: Polozov has been released. They tried to interrogate him. Polozov: “I qualify this as a kidnapping.”

Translation: Polozov didn’t answer questions, just wrote a sign explaining why he was silent, and sat with them.

The note lists regulations of the legal code granting Polozov the right to be silent as a witness.

— Pierre Vaux

FSB Detain Lawyer Nikolai Polozov, Defending Tatar Representatives In Occupied Crimea

The occupying Russian authorities in Crimea have detained lawyer Nikolai Polozov, who is defending two Crimean Tatars from politicized prosecutions.

Polozov, who most notably defended Ukrainian Nadiya Savchenko during her show trial in Russia, is working on the cases of Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz, the leader and deputy leader of the now-banned Crimean Tatar Mejlis – the representative body for the indigenous Tatar population of the peninsula.

RFE/RL’s Anton Naumlyuk reported at 10:23 GMT today that Polozov had been arrested by Federal Security Service (FSB) officers in Crimea. 

An hour earlier, Polozov had tweeted that he had arrived at Simferopol Airport in Crimea.

As Naumlyuk noted, the lawyer had just been at a meeting with members of the Parliamentary Association of the Council of Europe (PACE), where he had discussed the human rights situation in occupied Crimea.

Naumlyuk said that Polozov was arrested as soon has he had arrived at the Serov hotel in the center of Simferopol.

Polozov’s last tweet was at 9:33 GMT, posting a link to an interview he had given to Golos.com.ua on his meeting with the PACE delegates and the likelihood that the occupying authorities would launch more prosecutions against members of the Mejlis.

Naumlyuk reports that another lawyer, Edem Semedlyaev, went to the FSB building in Simferopol to help Polozov. He was told by a duty officer that the investigator, one Skripka, who should have been questioning Polozov, had left the building. The duty officer said that he would not look for the detained lawyer in the building.

The RFE/RL reporter says that by these means, the security services are preventing Polozov from defending Ilmi Umerov, who is due to appear in court soon today.  


Naumlyuk has just posted a photo of Polozov waving from inside the FSB building in Simferopol: 

Translation: Nikolai Polozov in the FSB building in Simferopol.

— Pierre Vaux