On 23 May, 2014, a 21-year old resident of Sloviansk, Nikolay Savchenko, was released from captivity. The man had been held in the basement of the building of the local Security Service of Ukraine on charges of participation in the EuroMaidan. According to the Foundation’s experts, on 10 May, 2014, Nikolay was accused and arrested by terrorists due to the fact that leaflets from the Maidan had been found on him. In fact, the defendant had not taken part in public events on the EuroMaidan, and the revealed materials, critical of politician Viktor Yanukovych, were published in 2013.
For almost two weeks, relatives of the victim made attempts to bring about Nikolay’s release by addressing to various state bodies and agencies. As a result of negotiations, experts of the Open Dialog Foundation achieved the release of several prisoners, including Nikolay Savchenko, on certain conditions. Nikolay, along with the other prisoners, had to perform ‘voluntary work’ in exchange for his freedom. The work involved digging trenches and piling sandbags in front of security checkpoints. Having fulfilled the conditions, Nikolay was released.
According to the Open Dialog Foundation, approx. 80 people are still being held captive in Slaviansk and Horlivka. Their fate remains unknown. Experts of the Foundation continue their work aimed at releasing the victims of terrorists in eastern Ukraine.