Voices of Ukraine Remembers Dmitry Tymchuk: “Thank you all for translating Mr. Tymchuk’s blog.”

06.22.2019 (June 22, 2019)
Written by Sophia Isajiw, Voices of Ukraine English editor-in-chief and edited by Voices of Ukraine editor and translator Maria Stanislav, representing the Voices of Ukraine Team

It is with the greatest sadness in our hearts that we write about the passing of Dmitry Tymchuk as the result of a gunshot wound to his head on 19 June 2019, the strange circumstances of which are still under investigation.

Dmitry has been a trusted friend to us at Voices of Ukraine (VoU) for the past 5 years, during which time we translated over 555 of his iconic Information Resistance (IR) group military summaries and articles, daily for over 3.5 of those years, after making an agreement with him we would act as the official English language translators for their full summary reports beginning in March 2014. Dmitry very graciously agreed to be a specialist in our advisory group from the early days of Maidan, and always gave us very succinct and solid advice when asked. Not long after, NATO wisely approached him to advise them.

Dmitry was inspirational – a true professional on the outside and a quick-witted creative thinker on the inside – the working definition of a reformed, professional Ukraine.

Dmitry Tymchuk met with Voices of Ukraine translator and editor Maria Stanislav in Kyiv in September of 2015

He was solid, honest, truthful, candid, precise, an excellent observer, respectful and generous with his time – answering our many questions, sharing insightful reflections, making time to meet with us. In person, his real-life personality matched his online voice. He was poetic; when we  messaged him with “Dmitry, are you here?? We have more questions, please,” he wrote back: “Yes, of course, for you, even a star from the sky.” He had a finely developed, intelligent and subversive humour we couldn’t get enough of. As one reader wrote, in early 2014: “I found the term ‘Orthodox Communists’ amusing, a true oxymoron. Thank you all for translating Mr. Tymchuk’s blog.” All of us at VoU fell in love with those early writings and posts of his about the situation in Ukraine before he settled into the military summaries – before he had to reign in the historic nuances and ironic subtle entendres to be more widely understood by NATO and a diverse public who had by then (April 2014) started following him from all over the world. But it would still slip into his summaries from time to time: “Let the Opposition Block concern themselves with giraffe husbandry!,” he wrote in late November of that year.

While we worked furiously to translate his summaries into mostly English, but also German (over 11 articles), French, Japanese (over 60 articles), Italian, we received enthusiastic thanks for these translations from the Philippines, Poland, Canada, the USA, Australia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, from Moscow to Magadan in Russia, Lithuania, Turkey, Italy, parts of Latin America and beyond. One reader wrote: “I am always in awe of Mr. Tymchuk’s intensely informative and articulately soulful posts. Honestly, his awesome ‘On the Front’ info is so chilling; I find my jaw dropping and my heart-rate escalating as I’m reading. As I finish reading his visually stimulating narratives, I find I have to catch my breath and take a moment to de-stress. Thx for the terrific job you do and thx to Mr. Tymchuk, for finding time to post his observations.” Another reader wrote: “I’d just like to let you know that Dmitry Tymchuk’s translated articles that you publish are a great source of knowledge for us about difficult situation in Ukraine. Best wishes from Poland to you and all Ukrainians!” And yet another: “Hello Dmitry. This is an excellent record of the momentous events taking place in Ukraine. Most newspapers and tv news here in the USA do NOT report Ukraine news every day. So, your blog is the best source of Ukraine news I have found on the internet. Keep up the good work!”
And he did, unceasingly. 


When he wrote to us in Ukrainian, his Ukrainian was literary and beautiful. But he told us it was important to him to post in Russian so that all Russian-speakers would clearly understand and have a record to refer to for posterity. We shared his concern that a record be kept. Those very dark days on Maidan and horrific events in Donbas suddenly felt that much safer to know that Dmitry and the IR group turned their expertise and efforts towards them. We never stopped worrying for Dmitry and all of the IR contributors. And until more information from the investigation into his death comes forth, we strive here to just remember and honour Dmitry Tymchuk, his gift and his legacy. We are proud of the archival record we have been able to establish for the English-speaking world from his work, and to have been able to amplify his voice that much further into the world so as to better inform a wider public of the early and ongoing ground realities of Russia’s war on Ukraine. 

In the foreword to his book Invasion of Ukraine: A Chronicle of Russian Aggression (published in Russian, but we are all still waiting for it to come out in English) Dmitry acknowledged Voices of Ukraine and a handful of English and Japanese volunteer translators with “Thank you friends, and a deep bow. Thanks to your assistance, the world has learned the truth about events in Ukraine.” He told us that interest in our English language translations of his military summaries came from various politicians and experts who visited from the US and the UK, that Canada’s interest fell off a bit after the first year, and the next most interested were the Germans, French and Italians. When he later became a National Deputy he never ceased his daily work with IR and at one point wrote us: “By the way, recently on the ‘parliamentary’ frontline, in my many meetings with various experts and officials from Western countries, many of them continuously monitor the summaries of the IR group in English, so that they are aware of the developments in Ukraine through your translations – once again thank you very much!”

Dmitry, we all owe you a deep debt of gratitude for your unflagging professionalism and dedication. We salute and pay tribute to you, thank you for your vision and service, for your friendship, your lion’s heart, your deep commitment, and for all you were and stood for. Voices of Ukraine were your diehard fans and worked hard to accurately research, translate and edit IR’s military summaries out of the greatest respect for IR’s efforts and sacrifices and for your own precise journalistic writing skills, straight up decency and professional expertise. Dmitry wrote us so generously at one point in 2014: “We admire you, too! You are…such patriots. It’s just beyond words. If many Ukrainians had at least 10% of your energy and patriotism, Ukraine would have been a superpower long ago)))).” And if 10% of Dmitry could only be spread to every Ukrainian citizen…

More recently, after not hearing from us in a while, he wrote: “I’m happy you don’t forget about us! It’s also nice to know that our information is in demand in the West. It is thus not for nothing that we work.” It has been so definitely not for nothing, Dmitry!

It is our great privilege to have crossed paths and travelled a small leg of your journey with you and to have known you. You were the best of us, a humble giant, and our hero, and you will always remain simply unforgettable. You leave behind a very big hole and an ache. We know IR members are already stepping up to continue the important, detailed work you started. The ache you leave behind will be irreplaceable. Вічна пам’ять.
Memory Eternal. Heroes never die. 

 

 

 

“I really hope that someday,
we can all meet together.

That would be wonderful!
Thank you!
Sincerely,
Tymchuk”

 

 

 

 

Dmitry Tymchuk and Information Resistance blog post translations by Voices of Ukraine

 

 

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Statement by the “Information Resistance” group on the death of Dmitry Tymchuk

information_resistance_logo_engInformation Resistance group
06.20.2019 (June 20, 2019)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

tymchuk

Dmitry Tymchuk was the Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance (IR) group, and a Member of Parliament (People’s Front).

Statement by the Information Resistance group

Yury Karin, IR Media Manager:

Dmytro Tymchuk, one of the coordinators and co-founders of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament of Ukraine, lieutenant colonel (reserve) and military journalist, tragically died on June 19th.

The Information Resistance group and the team of the Center of Military-Political Studies offer their deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of our friend and colleague.

Dmytro was always a true professional. He will forever live in our memories as a man of firm patriotic beliefs and unshakeable moral principles, which he never compromised. It was thanks to Dmytro’s human and professional qualities which made it possible to gather a team of like-minded people who have been defending Ukraine on the information front since the very start of Russian aggression, to this day. His personal and professional journey was full of significant achievements to the benefit of his homeland. We will remember him as an honest and honorable man, and a true Officer.

We have suffered an irreparable loss, but we have no intention of stopping our work for the benefit of Ukraine.

Dmytro was always brimming with new ideas and creative plans. We will continue the work that was the central purpose of his life.

The Information Resistance group will continue defending the national interests of Ukraine with all our strength. We will realize all of the ideas that our fallen colleague had been involved in.

The Information Resistance group is truly grateful to everyone who expressed their support and condolences to us, and to Dmytro’s family, friends and loved ones in this difficult time.

Speaking to Ukrainian and foreign media, as well as everyone who was moved by this tragedy, we request that you refrain from spreading speculations about the reasons and circumstances of Dmytro’s death. We believe it necessary to wait for the outcome of the official investigation. Please treat this request with understanding and respect.

– The Information Resistance Group

Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB  and  Yury Karin FB

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Evgeny Panov’s mother talks about her son’s health problems after visiting him in Russian prison

By the Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG)
07.18.2018
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Vera Kotelyanets near the “Supreme Court” of Crimea. Photo by Mikhail Batrak

Vera Kotelyanets, who often comes to Crimea from Enerhodar, Zaporozhia oblast, tosupport her son at court hearings, managed to see him on July 10, 2018, on the eve of the announcement of his verdict.

According to her, Evgeny has serious problems with his teeth and gums as a result of the electric shock torture applied to him after his arrest.

“He never complains of anything, he endures, even when it hurts. He begins to speak when there is no strength left to endure. This visit he said that there are problems with his gums. His teeth, black after the electric current, ache and break off. There are no doctors, and no one gives him medicine. And if one starts to make strong demands, they will be put in “isolation.” But many complain about their teeth, and sometimes, when a certain number of patients are recruited, a dentist is brought from the city who simply pulls out the sick teeth,” the woman told the Crimean Human Rights Group.

Vera Kotelyanets also reported that it is difficult to transfer medicines to the SIZO [pre-trial detention center]. “We must first find a pharmacy which issues certificates for drugs, for which one needs to wait from three days to a week. The list of painkillers is limited, strong drugs cannot be transferred,” Vera says. “The last time, Zhenya [Evgeny] was given activated charcoal because water was not brought in time, and they had to drink dirty tap water for a few days. His joints are also very painful. But basically he does not complain, he worries more about how we live, and where we get money for trips and transfers.”

Meetings of prisoners with relatives in the Simferopol jail occur through a cloudy double glass with iron fittings between the windows, communication is provided by old telephone tubes through which it is hard to hear.

“When I come to see him, there is always a guard beside us and nothing nonessential can be said. They have even adapted themselves to making conditional signs to convey something that cannot be spoken out loud,” Vera explains.

“This time I was given 2 hours for a visit, the longest visit of all of them; the permission for a visit with an open date came to my postal address, I gathered myself together in one day,” recalls Panov’s mother.

Vera Kotelyanets also informed the CHRG that the court sessions were usually closed, but on July 13 she was admitted to the courtroom for the announcement of the verdict, and together with the Crimean activists she was able to express her support to her son.

“On July 13, the TV “Russia” channel was allowed first into the courtroom, then we went in – myself and 7 other local activists. We were told where we should go, but we spoiled the whole picture. Entering the hall, we began to greet Zhenya, shouting “Glory to the patriots!,” “Zhenya, we love you!” I screamed: “Evgeny, we’ll get you out of here!” We were seated in the middle, and half the room, to create a crowd, was filled with people that were obviously gathered from within the courthouse. I brought Zhenya an embroidery, and he was wearing it. He was keeping well, he was very pleased that we came. At the exit, we also shouted Ukrainian slogans and words of support in Ukrainian. But back at home, I have not found anything about this anywhere on Russian channels. Only on “Anna-News” news came out about the announcement of the verdict on “the leader of the Crimean saboteurs Colonel Panov.”

“I am very grateful to the local residents, especially the Crimean Tatars, who support Zhenya and me,” Vera said.

On 13 July 2018, the “Supreme Court” of Crimea  sentenced Ukrainian citizen Evgeny Panov, accused by Russian special services of preparing a sabotage on the peninsula [Crimea], to 8 years in a strict-regime colony. The FSB accused Evgeny Panov of “preparing sabotages in Crimea as part of a sabotage group.” In addition, the Ukrainian was also accused of “smuggling ammunition across the customs border of the Customs Union” (Part 1, Article 30 and paragraph “a” Part 2, Article 281, Part 3, Article 30 and Part 3, Article 226.1, part 3 of Article 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

In the case of Evgeny Panov, torture, psychological pressure, falsification of evidence, obstruction of the work of lawyers, violation of the right to a fair trial, were recorded. According to human rights activists, Evgeny Panov, along with other citizens of Ukraine who have been accused in cases of [so-called] “saboteurs,” are victims of politically motivated criminal prosecution.

Ukrainian human rights activists have issued an open appeal to the governments of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Montenegro, Iceland, Albania, Liechtenstein, the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, which called for the use of all possible political and diplomatic mechanisms for the release of Evgeny Panov, as well as to introduce personal sanctions against those involved in the prosecution of a political prisoner and to strengthen sectoral sanctions against Russia for gross systematic violation of human rights and war crimes in occupied Crimea.

Source: Crimean Human Rights Group

 

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Oleg Sentsov’s letter on day 40 of his hunger strike protest: “Being not afraid is so simple.”

By Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian film maker and political prisoner, and others
06.23.2017 [June 23, 2018]
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

TV/film producer (TVINDIE Film Production) Yevgeny Gindilis posted the following on his Facebook page:

“Friends, here is the letter that Oleg Sentsov wrote today in the colony and asked to convey to everyone who has supported and supports him these days”:

Oleg Sentsov’s Letter Transcript:

“To those wearing the t-shirts and to everyone else!
Fellow cinema artists! Thank you all for what you’re doing. For not staying silent. It turns out that being not afraid is so simple, right? The first step is the hardest. Some made it long ago, and some only recently, but I thank each and every one of you for bravery. I understand that you are at risk in openly supporting me right now, while living in this country.

I won’t write or name any names or surnames, not because I don’t know them or not appreciate them, but because I’m afraid of forgetting someone or drawing special attention to someone. I’m thankful to all of you. The shift in the Soviet people’s public consciousness, which had let first to the Perestroika and then to freedom and a collapse of the empire – it all began when cinematographers started these changes with their congress in the 1980s. Perhaps you have the same mission and task: to destroy the even uglier empire that has been built and continues to evolve in your country [Russia]. Good luck with this! But also don’t forget to keep making beautiful movies!

Your Oleg Sentsov

June 22, 2018″

Source: Yevgeny Gindilis FB post

In addition, Anastasia Magazova, an independent Ukrainian journalist from Crimea, posted this on her FB page:

Ukrainian ombudsperson Lyudmila Denisova writes:
“Spoke with Oleg Sentsov’s lawyer, Dmitry Dinze. Today, Dmitry saw Oleg again.

He says that Oleg is very pale, does not move much, and barely gets out of bed. Doctors say that his receptors are already failing. A second crisis (the first one was on the 26th day of fasting) could occur at any moment. From that moment on, the lawyer assumes, they will begin force feeding him immediately.
The situation is dangerous!
Therefore, I appeal to the head of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, Gennady Kornienko, to immediately give me permission to visit Oleg Sentsov!”

Source: Anastasia Magazova

Summary of Sentsov’s case:
– convicted by the North Caucasus Military District Court to 20 years in prison on falsified charges of “creating a terrorist organization and committing two acts of terrorism;” filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who simply stood on Maidan and opposed Russia’s annexation and occupation of Crimea:
– was supposed to serve his sentence in Ukraine as part of a prisoner exchange deal;
– was subsequently denied that option on false grounds;
– is currently on the 27th day of an indefinite hunger strike, not for himself, but demanding the Kremlin release all Ukrainian political prisoners
– is 41 years old with 2 children and currently on his 43rd day [on June 25th] of hunger strike in critical condition

 

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Oleg Sentsov letter: “Everyone understands that I will not back down”

By Oleg Sentsov, shared by Tatiana Shchur, human rights activist
06.09.2017 [June 9, 2018]
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Oleg Sentsov, almost a year and a half ago, in SIZO-3 in Chelyabinsk, en route to Yakutia. Photo: Tatiana Shchur

Tatiana Shchur: EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT I WILL NOT BACK DOWN
A letter from Oleg Sentsov was received on June 7. Our letter with Nikolay Shchur, with greetings from [prominent political dissident of the 1950s-70s] Bukovsky, sent on May 31, was given to him on June 5. And here is the answer. With a request (which is totally not characteristic of Oleg) to write, “if there is, something interesting, but you know my needs: in point of fact, and for every day.” Yes, Oleg. We know what you are waiting for, what we are all waiting for. VICTORY. FREEDOM.
And, although I am against the publication of personal correspondence, I think that we have no right now to hide anything concerning his situation.
In the photo, Oleg almost a year and a half ago in SIZO-3 in Chelyabinsk. En route to Yakutia.
Read the letter.

Oleg Sentsov’s Letter Transcript:

“”Tatiano and Nikolai, hello! It’s nice to receive a letter from you with news in it. Thank you very much for the letter and for everything you do for me and Sasha [Kolchenko]. I know that he is now also on hunger strike, but where is he with his health and constitution? But it’s not necessary to persuade him not to, as  Bukovsky said correctly. If a person has decided, then he’s decided.

I am, by the way, not especially a fan of Bukovsky’s works, but I respect him as a person very much.

Give him a huge hello and thank him for the advice. True, I knew all of this before beginning my hunger strike, so I prepared for this step consciously, but nonetheless thank you for the concern. They take care of me well here. The doctor constantly examines me, analyses, examinations, drops. As to the fourth week of the flight, the pilot feels fine! Further, we will see, but everyone understands that I will not back down, so they are preparing options for the further preservation of my health. So do not worry about this yet. During the day, they have even transferred me from the cell to the local sanitary unit of the camp, giving me a separate ward. So I am now a sick prisoner, not just a prisoner. :))

More in principle, I have no other personal news. So write, if there is something interesting, but you know my needs: in point of fact, and for every day. Huge greetings to all of ours and to just good people.

Oleh. 06/07/18 “

Source: Tatiana Shchur FB

Summary of Sentsov’s case:
–  convicted by the North Caucasus Military District Court to 20 years in prison on falsified charges of “creating a terrorist organization and committing two acts of terrorism;” filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who simply stood on Maidan and opposed Russia’s annexation and occupation of Crimea:
– was supposed to serve his sentence in Ukraine as part of a prisoner exchange deal;
– was subsequently denied that option on false grounds;
– is currently on the 27th day of an indefinite hunger strike, not for himself, but demanding the Kremlin release all Ukrainian political prisoners

 

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