Actions speak louder than words, and the Ukrainian authorities’ actions in the case of Russian-born Timur Tumgoyev tell a troubling tale.
The Prosecutor General’s Office on Sept. 12 extradited Tumgoyev to Russia at the request of Russia’s Federal Security Service, even though the Kharkiv Human Rights Group and Muslim Cheberloyevsky, the commander of Ukraine’s volunteer Sheikh Mansur battalion, say that Tumgoyev fought against Russian-led troops in the Donbas.
Prosecutors deny Tumgoyev fought there, taking the side of the Russian security service known as the FSB, even though the agency routinely fabricates cases. The FSB claims Tumgoyev fought in Syria as part of a terrorist group against Russian-backed dictator Bashar al-Assad. Tumgoyev’s extradition is a gross violation of human rights. First: if Tumgoyev fought against Russia in the Donbas, Ukrainian law enforcers are handing him over to the enemy. Second: regardless of whether Tumgoyev fought in the Donbas, the claim that he is a terrorist comes only from Russia, a police state with a reputation for dishonesty. Third: Tumgoyev faces torture and possibly death for opposing the Kremlin.
The Ukrainian authorities also have a record of failing to take action against Kremlin-friendly politicians and oligarchs. Tycoon Dmytro Firtash, who is based in Austria and faces U.S. bribery charges, still owns the Crimean Titan chemical plant in Russian-annexed Crimea. Firtash has not been charged in a single criminal case in Ukraine. Meanwhile, politician Viktor Medvedchuk boasts about his friendship with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Medvedchuk faces no charges and still enjoys friendly relations with the Ukrainian authorities.
President Petro Poroshenko, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and others can talk about their patriotism, but their actions tell another story.