Escape from Crimea : the ecologist

Full video transcript

Escape from Crimea: the ecologist

Crimea's occupation

and annexation by Russia in 2014

was portrayed by Russian media

as a move hugely welcomed

by the citizens of Crimea. But

NATO Review heard a different story

when we interviewed

several Crimeans living in Kiev.

In the third story

we talk to an ecologist

about why he escaped from Crimea.

As my work was closely connected

to the State Border Guards,

and my work, fighting the poachers,

also closely involved the guards,

I saw the beginning

of the occupation at their post,

together with the border guards.

There were moments such as...

I was an eye witness

of the escorted five cash trucks

leaving the Kazacha Bay

and two convoys which Yanukovych

used to leave for Russia.

It happened during the night

of the 22nd to the 23rd

and that was

the beginning of the occupation.

I came to visit journalists

to the Democratic Press Centre.

It was a platform for everybody,

where people were speaking.

The organizer, a leading Sebastopol

journalist, Tatyana Rikthun,

I could not get in contact

with her before, as she got caught.

She was beaten up

near the Ukrainian Navy HQ.

She was filming and they smashed

her camera and her head

and she was

in a state of shock for two days.

They even beat her up

by her apartment block.

Three days later,

she contacted me: Let's meet.

We met in the hospital

where she was.

She had a problem with her leg.

We collected her,

carried her

and took her to her office.

And at midday,

the FSB officers came in,

together with some of the Oborona

militia. They closed the offices.

There were three of us, the third was

a Russian human rights defender,

and the cameras were there

as FSB said that we were terrorists,

and that they had found

forbidden stuff, including explosives.

They opened an investigation and

interrogated us until eleven o'clock.

We managed to request a visit

of international journalists, thinking:

If we perish, at least people would

know where we were maimed.

We were interrogated

without a lawyer.

The procedure

was violated completely.

After this, a former SBU officer,

who switched sides to FSB,

who knew me through

my environmental initiatives, he said:

You have 40 minutes

to leave the territory of Crimea.

They offered us a car

to leave Crimea, so that,

let's be honest,

the militia would not tear us apart.

I only took some documents,

nothing else, no things.

And that's how I left Crimea.

Escape from Crimea: the ecologist

Crimea's occupation

and annexation by Russia in 2014

was portrayed by Russian media

as a move hugely welcomed

by the citizens of Crimea. But

NATO Review heard a different story

when we interviewed

several Crimeans living in Kiev.

In the third story

we talk to an ecologist

about why he escaped from Crimea.

As my work was closely connected

to the State Border Guards,

and my work, fighting the poachers,

also closely involved the guards,

I saw the beginning

of the occupation at their post,

together with the border guards.

There were moments such as...

I was an eye witness

of the escorted five cash trucks

leaving the Kazacha Bay

and two convoys which Yanukovych

used to leave for Russia.

It happened during the night

of the 22nd to the 23rd

and that was

the beginning of the occupation.

I came to visit journalists

to the Democratic Press Centre.

It was a platform for everybody,

where people were speaking.

The organizer, a leading Sebastopol

journalist, Tatyana Rikthun,

I could not get in contact

with her before, as she got caught.

She was beaten up

near the Ukrainian Navy HQ.

She was filming and they smashed

her camera and her head

and she was

in a state of shock for two days.

They even beat her up

by her apartment block.

Three days later,

she contacted me: Let's meet.

We met in the hospital

where she was.

She had a problem with her leg.

We collected her,

carried her

and took her to her office.

And at midday,

the FSB officers came in,

together with some of the Oborona

militia. They closed the offices.

There were three of us, the third was

a Russian human rights defender,

and the cameras were there

as FSB said that we were terrorists,

and that they had found

forbidden stuff, including explosives.

They opened an investigation and

interrogated us until eleven o'clock.

We managed to request a visit

of international journalists, thinking:

If we perish, at least people would

know where we were maimed.

We were interrogated

without a lawyer.

The procedure

was violated completely.

After this, a former SBU officer,

who switched sides to FSB,

who knew me through

my environmental initiatives, he said:

You have 40 minutes

to leave the territory of Crimea.

They offered us a car

to leave Crimea, so that,

let's be honest,

the militia would not tear us apart.

I only took some documents,

nothing else, no things.

And that's how I left Crimea.