UNIAN journalist Dmitry Khilyuk has been in captivity of the Russian Federation for more than a year: he sent only one letter from there (photo, video)

Olga Robeyko14:17, 04/23/23

The Russians captured both Dmitry and his father. The latter was later released.

UNIAN journalist Dmitry Khilyuk has been in Russian captivity for more than a year. His official status is not a prisoner of war, but a civilian hostage. These should be given out of exchange, but the enemy does not. 

As stated in Plot 1 + 1 on the air of the telethon, all last year the state, hoping to release Hilyuk, asked journalists not to make materials about him, and now it’s vice versa.

Dmitry’s father Vasily showed journalists his son’s half-empty room, which the Russian Buryats smashed and plundered more than a year ago. The invaders entered the village of Kozarovichi near Kiev on February 26, 2022, placed their equipment here and went home. 

One of the shells during the battle in the village also hit the house of Vasily, the father of Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Khilyuk. Then the whole family was at home – Dmitry and his sick mother and father.

Then the Russians began to “hunt” for men in Kozarovichi. “Dima and I went to see what was being done here, we wanted to clean up a little. And as soon as we reach our house, they attack five people with machine guns, with obscene words, shouting,” recalls the journalist’s father. That evening they seized both the son and the father.

According to UNIAN editor-in-chief Mikhail Gannitsky, the Russians forced Dmitry to dig trenches and trenches. Hilyuk had been texting him since the occupation about a broken house and empty shops in the village. Dmitry did not transmit any information about Russian troops. 

Whether the rashists knew that Dmitry was a journalist is not known for certain. However, somewhere in Russia they are still holding him and they do not want to let him go.

“The Russian side has never fulfilled a promise regarding Dmitry and several other people. They agree on lists for the evening, but in the morning they do not bring them in for an exchange,” Gannitsky says.

The official status of Dmitry Khilyuk and people like him are civilian hostages. How many of these the enemy is now holding in their prisons, the Coordinating Center of the Headquarters for Prisoners does not say. They only say that almost 2,500 people were released during the year, including a little over a hundred civilians. Indeed, according to international law, it is impossible to exchange them for the military, and the enemy does not want to let go of civilians.

Vasily showed the journalists the place where the Russians held him and his son – this is an enterprise in Kozarovichi right on their street. Then the father was released, and Dmitry and the others were taken away in an unknown direction. The head of the Dymerskaya UTC Vladimir Podkurganny says that 42 people from their community are still in Russian captivity.

Last year, a very short letter came from one of the Russian colonies from Dmitry Khilyuk, only three sentences. This note confirms that he is alive. “My dear mom and dad, I’m alive and well. I’m fine. Dima,” the letter said.

Letter that Hilyuk wrote to his parents / screenshot
Letter that Hilyuk wrote to his parents / screenshot

Dmitry’s house has already been rebuilt by friends, colleagues and the community. Hilyuk’s old parents are now taken care of by his colleague Tatyana Polyakovskaya – she gives them his salary and maintains morale. “I dream that Dima and his parents went somewhere to rest,” says Tanya.

Dmitry’s mother cannot hold back her tears, talking about the return of her son: “I will kiss, hug, and then I will blow off all the dust particles.”

https://www.unian.net/player/H24oFzpCUNIAN journalist Dmytro Khilyuk near the river near the Russian Federation

(C)UNIAN 2023

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