Russia’s Defense Ministry has confirmed that Ukrainian human rights activist, co-founder of Hromadske Radio, and military service member Maksym Butkevych is in custody, Russian human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov said in a Telegram post on Aug. 23.
“Russian Defense Ministry confirmed Ukrainian human rights activist Maksym Butkevych is held somewhere in the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (in occupied Donbas),” said Chikov.
The official Russian response claims Butkevych is in “satisfactory” health.
Maksym’s mother, Yevhenia Butkevych, told Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne that she was told her son is alive and remains a POW.
Butkevych enlisted in the Ukrainian Armed Forces back in March. He has been in captivity since at least June 24 – when the first video of his interrogation emerged.
Russian media refers to Butkevych as “a propagandist,” “a Nazi,” and “a commander of a punitive death squad.”
However, these claims are false. Butkevych is known in Ukraine for his tireless work in promoting anti-fascist and anti-racist values, identifies politically as a left-wing anarchist, and has led initiatives fighting discrimination against transgender journalists in Ukraine.