Ukrainian citizen Oleksandr Shumkov is to return to Ukraine from a Russian prison on December 24.
Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada Ombudsperson Liudmyla Denisova announced this on Telegram on December 21.
"On December 24, Oleksandr Shumkov is returning from a Russian prison to his home country," she wrote.
Shumkov's abduction and Russian captivity
- The Ukrainian organization Right Sector in August 2017 reported that Shumkov, a serviceman of Chornobai military unit No. 4067, was abducted by Russian special services on the administrative border between Ukraine's Kherson region and Russia-occupied Crimea.
- On August 24, 2017, a court in Russia's Bryansk region ruled to arrest Shumkov for 15 days for allegedly failing to comply with a policeman's request to provide personal belongings for examination.
- In early September 2017, the Shumkov case was re-categorized. He was charged with the fact that "for a long period of time" he was allegedly a bodyguard of the then Right Sector leader, Dmytro Yarosh.
- In December 2018, Shumkov was sentenced to four years in a medium-security prison on charges of committing crime under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("Participation in an extremist organization's activities") over allegedly being a member of Right Sector, which is outlawed in in Russia.
- Shumkov was imprisoned in penitentiary facility colony No. 4 in the town of Torzhok, Russia's Tver region.
- On October 14, 2019, Shumkov went on hunger strike over systematic violations by the prison's administration of his rights and increased psychological pressure on him. He also demanded that Russia stop "blackmailing with political prisoners' involvement" at Minsk negotiations within the Trilateral Contact Group and Normandy talks. In addition, Shumkov demanded that Russian Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova respond to his inquiries about the violation of rights in a pretrial detention center.
- On October 22, Shumkov was hospitalized after his condition had deteriorated as a result of the hunger strike.
- In November 2019, relatives of the political prisoner and human rights activists reported that during his stay in the prison hospital in Torzhok, Shumkov got a shot with an unknown substance, possibly psychotropic, because after that his mental state changed dramatically.
- On December 11, Shumkov said in a letter that Russian FSB officers tried to force him to become a secret witness in a case against another Ukrainian citizen, Ihor Pirozhok, also known as "Roman Chirka." The latter was detained in April for alleged preparations for "a guerrilla war against Russia."
- In February and March 2020, Shumkov repeatedly stated that Russian law enforcement officers had been threatening him with murder.
- On November 1, his aunt, Liudmyla Shumkova, said that the night before, an employee of the Torzhok colony had inflicted bodily harm on Shumkov in order to provoke him to find a cause for opening another criminal case against him.