Serhiy Kosyak, Pastor of the “Assembly of God” Protestant Church reports about the kidnapping of two Protestant pastors, Valery Yakubenko and Oleksandr Khomchenko, by terrorists of the DNR [Donetsk People’s Republic]. Yakubenko was released 24 hours later, but Khomchenko continues to be held by terrorists and tortured.
“Sasha Khomchenko is still in captivity. I recall yesterday after evening prayers in Donetsk, representatives of the DNR took Valery together with Roksolana. According to available information, all three [of them] were interrogated and then Roksolana was released, and Oleksandr and Valery were taken in the car trunk to one of the bases in Makiivka. The charges that they trumped up against Oleksandr–are that he is the pastor of a Protestant Church, and for the DNR, Protestants are enemies and spies. Valery was accused of not working for the benefit of the DNR and supporting “enemy” sects. Valery was recently released, but Sasha Khomchenko was severely beaten and given 5 days of forced labor,” –he wrote.
Kosyak later added another record where he said more about the fate of Khomchenko:
“A little bit about Oleksandr Khomchenko, who is now in captivity. What happened to him–this is a common procedure for punitive intimidation, which is very typical for the occupied territories. In order to achieve control over society, it is necessary to keep people in fear.
Yesterday, after Oleksandr’s prayer, Valery and Roksolana were taken by the insurgents into the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] building. After interrogation, Roksolana was released, and Oleksandr and Valery were packed in the trunk of a car and taken to the military enlistment office building in Makiivka. Prior to this, all of their personal belongings went through a thorough visual inspection. Amongst Oleksandr’s belongings they found his church pastor ID, which was already incriminated him, and a few photos on the [android] tablet which the NKVD [the ironic name of the DNR’s “security services”] considered compromising. In the back of the car were also found bundles of receipts for gas, which verified that Oleksandr spent no less than 500 Hryvnias [USD $40] on his vehicle a day, which of course immediately became an “indictment” document that Sasha was none other than “an [intelligence] scout.” Explaining to the executioners that Oleksandr drives daily from bomb shelters, fire zones and other dangerous places, that he pulls out women, children and the disabled, and then drives hundreds of kilometers, so as to find a safe way to evacuate between shelled roads and checkpoints, was useless. In their eyes, he was already guilty. They beat him following all [imaginable] rules of torture, and then read out a sentence of five days in jail and forced labor for an illegal religious meeting in a public place. We pray that he comes out from prison in good health and earlier than his allocated sentence.