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Aleksandr/Oleksandr Kolchenko was detained in Crimea on May 17, 2014, on suspicion of participation in a "terrorist group," which planned explosions near the eternal fire memorial and the Lenin monument in Simferopol on May 8th and 9th, and of having sabotaged railway tracks and electricity lines. Kolchenko is also suspected of having carried out two arson attacks: against the headquarters of the Russian Unity-party and Russian Community of Crimea on April 14th, and the office of the United Russia party in Simferopol on April 18th. The case is run by the FSB, the former KGB.
Aleksandr is an anarchist and antifascist who has participated in student and environmental actions. He has been part of campaigns against tuition fees and supported workers' rights protests. He was under constant Nazi attack for his antifascist ideas. One incident took place after a film screening about murdered anti-fascist journalist Anastasiya Baburova, where he was attacked by thirty Nazis using knives. In this context, claims by the Russian authorities that Aleksandr is part of the nationalist "Right Sector" are ridiculous, and he is denying these claims.
Aleksandr is claimed to be part of a bigger group protesting against the Russian invasion of Crimea by organising direct actions. A famous film director, Oleg/Oleh Sentsov, as well as two Maydan activists, Gennadiy/Hennadiy Afanasyev and Alexei Chirniy, have also been detained under the same suspicion. All of them are claimed to be part of the Right Sector (a Ukrainian ultra-right organisation). This is a lie as apart from Chirniy none of the accused have any connection to the Right sector, and Aleksandr Kolchenko has never shared nationalist ideas. The whole case is considered to be part of the Russian campaign to take over Crimea, which includes repressions against anyone who doesn't comply with the new authority.
Aleksandr and Oleg were sentenced by the North Caucasus Military District Court in Russia to 20 and 10 years imprisonment respectively. They were charged with preparing to blow up the Lenin monument in Simferopol (Crimea), and setting fire to offices belonging to the Russian Community of Crimea and the United Russia Party in occupied Crimea. The Russian human rights movement has recognized both men as political prisoners. Aleksandr is serving time in Kopeysk penal colony as a “person inclined to spread extremist ideology.” Hennadiy was sentenced to seven years but released on June 14, 2016 after it was exposed that his testimony against himself and Aleksandr and Oleg was forced and fabricated through torture.
In September 2019, both Kolchenko and Sentsov were transfered to Kiev under bilateral exchange of war hostages and political prisoners between Russia and Ukraine.
Aleksandr's statement: Aleksandr Kolchenko: I am not a terrorist. I am a citizen of Ukraine [20/11/14]