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Occupiers hold the admins of two Ukrainian Telegram channels captive, accuse them of terrorism

31.10.2023, 17:41

The Russians have been holding the administrators of the Telegram channels "RIA-Melitopol" and "Melitopol is Ukraine" captive for two months, accusing them of terrorism.

The occupiers only released a video of them in detention in their propaganda media and on Telegram on October 29, even though they had been arrested on August 20.

According to the Ukrainian Telegram channel "RIA Melitopol South", the fate of the detainees had been unknown for over two months. However, on October 29, the occupiers released a detailed report about the captured administrators, publishing it on the prominent Russian propaganda outlets and in Telegram channels.

"FSB officers in balaclavas, armed with machine guns, jump over fences, break down doors, grab people and take them out of the house handcuffed. Then, the propagandists film their remorse and confessions, which were extorted in a well-known way. There is even a 19-year-old girl and a boy with schizophrenia among the prisoners," the Ukrainian Telegram channel reports.

Now, RIA Melitopol South reports, the occupiers have released the names of the detainees: Oleksandr Malyshev, Heorhiy Levchenko, Maksym Rupchov, Yana Suvorova, Mark Kaliush, Kostiantyn Zinovkin. All of them are charged under several articles of the Russian criminal code: public calls for terrorist attacks, treason, espionage. They face 12 to 20 years in prison.


The propaganda outlet "" also made a lengthy report on the detention. The occupiers talk about the detention of "three large intelligence groups controlled by the Ukrainian special services."

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"As a result of the operation, the administrators of the fake media resource 'RIA-Melitopol' and the enemy's Telegram chat 'Melitopol is Ukraine', who were persuading locals to do espionage, were detained," the propagandists say, without informing the audience that the administrators of the Telegram channels were detained in late August. This, in turn, was reported by RIA Melitopol South, whose website, RIA-Melitopol, was hacked by the occupiers on August 20 and has been hosting their propaganda since then.

In their "" report, the propagandists savor the potential prison terms awaiting the Telegram administrators, even using children: "The Levchenko's child (Heorhiy Levchenko, one of the detained administrators – Author) is 11. If everything goes well, she will be 23 the next time the man will see her."

Also, the propagandists stress in every possible way that all the detainees "had an epiphany as soon as the bracelets clicked shut on their wrists." They released a video of Yana Suvorova (aged 19) and Mark Kalush, a boy with schizophrenia, "confessing". Kostyantyn Zinovkin, 32, who is also considered a terrorist and was detained in early May 2023, is also featured in the report.

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As the IMI reported, on the night of August 21, 2023, the Russians hacked the Telegram channel of the Ukrainian media outlet "RIA Melitopol", which continued to work even after Melitopol (Zaporizhia oblast) was occupied. According to Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov, the occupiers also hacked several other pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels which have been "tirelessly reporting the terrible truth about the life in the TOT while facing constant threats from the occupiers" since the first day of the war.

In early August, local journalist Iryna Levchenko and her husband Oleksandr, who have both been retired for years, were kidnapped in temporarily occupied Melitopol (Zaporizhia oblast). According to the sources, the occupiers detained the couple on the street, first keeping them together and then separating them. Their current whereabouts are unknown.

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