Target: Aleksandr Zakharchenko, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR)
Goal: Free abducted couple and ensure their safe return home
A Ukrainian couple’s lives are in danger following their recent abduction. They are being held incommunicado and their whereabouts and well-being are unknown. Sign the petition urging local authorities to reveal the couple’s location and release them immediately.
Following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, formerly a possession of Ukraine, sectarian groups took control of territory in Crimea. One of these groups, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) controls the area in which married couple Anna Sergienko and Victor Gorbenko lived. The pair was kidnapped in Donetsk after being followed by several vehicles. They were eventually cut off, violently pulled from their own car, and taken away by men that eyewitnesses believe to be members of “Cossack armed groups,” Amnesty International reports. Neither husband nor wife has been heard from since.
According to family members and other sources, Sergienko and Gorbenko had been involved in “trouble” with Cossack groups in the past, as they own a shop situated in a heavily Cossack area. Neither has been charged with any crime.
No matter how fraught the political state of a region may be, it is the responsibility of those in command to ensure that citizens are allowed to go about their daily lives in peace. Sign the petition and urge the leader of the DNR to reveal Sergienko and Gorbenko’s whereabouts immediately and ensure their safe return home.
Dear Mr. Zakharchenk,
I am writing to express my deep concern for the fate of Anna Sergienko and Victor Gorbenko, a married couple from the Donetsk area. They were recently violently abducted and no one has seen or heard from them since. There are some reports that the couple, who own a business in Donetsk, have been the subject of threats or “trouble” before.
Sergienko and Gorbenko were driving in their own car when they were followed by several other vehicles. Their route was subsequently blocked, their car was set upon by armed men, and they were dragged out through the broken windows of the car. Eyewitness reports and video footage shot at the scene suggest that the men are members of Cossack forces.
Despite the fact that one of the couple’s relatives has filed a formal complaint calling for investigation into the disappearances, it seems very little has been done. I urge you to call upon the armed forces in control of the Donetsk area to release the whereabouts of Anna Sergienko and Victor Gorbenko and ensure their safe return home.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Barnellbe via Wikimedia Commons