Alexander RODNYANSKY: The Fate of a Man…

It is impossible not to talk about this story. Even against the gloomy news background, it is striking in its senseless cruelty.

Yesterday it became known about the death in the pre-trial detention center of Aleksandr Demidenko. Pensioner Demidenko was in the pre-trial detention center for helping Ukrainian refugees.

I will quote the text of journalist Dmitrii Kolezev: “Demidenko was a 61-year-old pensioner who lived in a private house. A rocket engineer by training and a convinced pacifist. Hundreds (they say about a thousand in total) of Ukrainian refugees who needed to spend the night near the Kolotilovka checkpoint stayed in his house. He helped them gratuitously and completely fearlessly – he was not afraid to argue with law enforcers, to argue about the poor conditions at the checkpoint. They held “preventive talks” with him, but could do nothing. Demidenko spoke against the war, he was detained at a picket with a blank sheet. His sister lives in Kharkiv.

Last October, while escorting another refugee – a woman with cancer – he was detained by some “bearded men” from the Rosgvardia. First Demidenko disappeared, then he was officially arrested for 10 days on the ridiculous charge of drinking alcohol in a public place, and finally he was charged with illegal possession of weapons – some elements of an explosive device from World War II. When Demidenko was brought in for the trial and search, he showed huge bruises all over his body – evidence of the beatings. Then, when he called his son, he told about torture, including being tied to a radiator and shot under his feet”.

On April 5, Demidenko died in the detention center.

The fate of a man. This was once the title of Sergei Bondarchuk’s directorial debut. In the movie, a Soviet soldier went through every conceivable ordeal: captivity, concentration camp, torture. The torturers were the German Nazis.

In the case of Demidenko, “their own”….

It is important to know that even in the most terrible conditions there are people who remain human. Despite everything.

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