March 30, 2021


The Kyiv Post reported, “Bellingcat, the international online investigation group, has helped identify three alleged guards serving at Izolyatsiya, the notorious secret detention camp in the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk. The camp is known for widely-reported illegal imprisonment and torture.


The information was published on March 29 by journalist and author Stanislav Aseyev who was imprisoned in the camp for two years until he was freed as part of Russia’s prisoner swap with Ukraine in late 2019.


According to Aseyev, the three men are Donetsk Oblast residents who served the Kremlin-sponsored forces and later obtained Russian citizenship: Yuriy Krivonos (codename ‘Fat Man’), the prison facility’s overseer; Vladimir Butenko (codename ‘But’), the overseer’s close deputy; Ruslan Yeremichev, (сodename ‘Yermak’).


The author also attached excerpts from Russia’s state ID registry, showing the alleged militants’ photos and personal data.


‘The three were involved in brutal torture, beatings, the abasement of human dignity,’ Aseyev said on his Facebook page. ‘But now, with their Russian passport data obtained, one can lodge a claim against Russia’s violation of the laws of war. Which, I hope, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs will initiate soon.’


From 2010 to 2014, Izolyatsiya was a modern art center, established in a former factory that produced insulation material.


According to numerous media reports, Russian-backed militants turned the facility into a secret prison camp managed by the so-called ‘Ministry of State Security,’ the occupational authorities’ political police force. Most of the inmates are Ukrainian civilians and military captives, as well as former militants, reportedly including Russian nationals.


In occupied Donetsk, Izolyatsiya is feared among local civilians and it is often referred to as a Soviet GULAG-style concentration camp.


In a February 2020 report, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that Izolyatsiya detainees were tortured with electric current and subjected to mock executions and sexual abuse.”