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You're reading: Kremlin-backed insurgents kidnap artist whose work ridiculed them
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The father of three children was abducted by four unidentified men from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, which Kyiv has deemed a terrorist organization. Zakharov’s neighbor who witnessed the kidnapping asked the rebels why and where they are taking the artist but the terrorists claimed they were a rapid response team, and didn’t know the details.

Zakharov’s family has been unable to contact him ever since and still knows nothing about his whereabouts. “One acquaintance told me that my brother is being held in the Donetsk SBU’s (Security Service of Ukraine) building in Donetsk,” says Andriy Zakharov, the artist’s brother who starting from Aug. 7 has been desperately trying to get permission to see or at least arrange a telephone conversation with his brother. “I neither know about the conditions in which Serhiy (Zakharov) is being held nor about his state of health. The rebels do not allow him to communicate with anyone. Everything I know is that he is alive,” he said.

Serhiy Mazurkevych, Zakharov’s close friend, says that the insurgents are looking also for the artist’s sponsors. “They just cannot believe that a person can have their own position and can act without anybody’s financing,” he adds.

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