November 10, 2021


The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “According to Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), the alleged head (or head ‘guard’) of the notorious Izolyatsia secret prison in occupied Donetsk was detained in the early hours of 9 November.


The man was identified as Denis Kulikovsky, or ‘Palych’, by Stanislav Aseyev, Ukrainian writer and former Izolyatsia hostage, who has written in detail about both Palych and the forms of torture used against both men and women held prisoner at Izolyatsia. Aseyev referred to Kulikovsky as ‘the chief war criminal of Izolyatsia,’ adding, ‘I can now say that my life has not been lived in vain.’


The SBU did not name the individual and the photo provided blurs his face. He is referred to as a former militant of the terrorist organization ‘DPR’ [the self-styled, but Russian-controlled ‘Donetsk people’s republic’] and head of the illegal Izolyatsia prison in the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk oblast.


According to SBU information, ‘this person organized and directly participated in murders and the torture of illegally imprisoned Ukrainian citizens.’


At present, he has been detained as part of a criminal investigation under four articles of Ukraine’s Criminal Code: human trafficking (Article 149); the formation of a terrorist group or organization (Article 258-3); formation of militarized or armed formations not envisaged by law (Article 260); and violations of the laws and practice of war (Article 438).  A court hearing, which is likely to remand him in custody, is likely on 10 or 11 November, with Aseyev mentioning in an interview  that this will be in Mariupol.


These were the original charges, and more may, of course, be laid. It is noticeable, however, and frustrating, that there is no mention of war crimes, as the law now adopted by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has still, in flagrant violation of Ukraine’s Constitution, not been signed into force by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.”