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04 July 201816:30

This is not the weapon that wins, this is the man. Part 2 Father Theophanes, survived the torture of the SBU

This is not the weapon that wins, this is the man. Part 2 Father Theophanes, survived the torture of the SBU
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The editorial office of RIA "SM-News" held a press tour for foreign journalists in Donetsk (Emmanuel Schreiber from France, head of the Bulgarian edition of "News Front" Asya Ivanova). Correspondents met with Father Theophanes, who survived the captivity and torture of the SBU. The Orthodox priest spoke about the situation at the very beginning of the war, about his activities and about the turning point in his life.
(continuation, the beginning is here)

- Yeah. So, did you take drugs?
- No, I've never tak it.

He says to someone: "Bring "black" here , now we will give a shot.." I sit and think: well, to prick - so to prick ... To me it was easier why? You know, I trusted God. God, my strength is not enough to endure this, help. Then it was much easier for me, because I was not alone. They realized that I did not panic, the tantrums expected did not begin. They make me sit down closer to the middle of this tunnel, shooting gallery.

I'm sitting. They begin to ask questions, beat on the knees with a plastic stick. Blow on the back of the bat. Then I was beaten on the kidneys. Then the electric shock was anywhere. That's a few hours.

Then it seemed them a few. They put me on the floor, and the cuffs were fastened behind the back. A rag on the face, they began to water with water. I can not say how long it lasted, I do not even know. Maybe an hour and a half.

It got to the point that ... When a person has tetanus, he flexes out onto the "bridge", lying on his back. That's what I did. I wheezed. I realized that I was already dying.

- So. Have you ever had this before?
- It have never had.

They stopped this, I was dripping wet. It  was 10 degrees in the shooting gallery, it's not all that hot. They took me to the cell. I could not go. They were yelling: go well, you are pretending. I went to the cell, and there were criminals, two guys.

It sounds awful, but they were absolutely normal people. Compared with these (SBUshniki - note aut.), It's just intellectuals.

They smoke. The cell is small, there used to be a weapons room: only a table in the corner and shelves on the walls. Bench. I sat down on it. Then they told me that I was all blue. There is water in the lungs, I swallowed air. It's very painful. In the stomach like a broken glass, that's the feeling. And I started hallucinating. I almost fall from the bench, I feel bad, first they (cellmates - note author) gave me validol - well, what I would do with validol after such strangulation? I'm getting worse and worse. They began to knock, so that the attendant would come.

The attendant stopped by.

"Listen, what are you doing with him?" He now dies, then we will be responsible for him.

Then the door opens. First the door, then the grille into the cell. That is, the door opens, the bar still remains. The grille opens. Several people come in. One is tall, I would remember him later, when I would saw the picture after his death.

- Look into my eyes.
- I can not.
- Look into my eyes, I said!
- I'm trying, but I can not even raise my head.
- Look into the eyes, I said!" Look at me!

I wish I had not looked. There was such a hell in the eyes ... Eyes were black, there was such hatred devilish inside. It's like it was the devil itself. Later I would found out it was Colonel Alexander Kharabyush.

- Are you pretending? Now I'll call the doctor, and if he says that you're pretending - I'll tear your head off!

I was taken to the bathroom. I walked, holding the wall so as not to fall. They had beaten my legs, I still limp.

The first day was over. Around midnight they called for testimony. I wrote like this (shows how he holds a pen in his fist - author's note), squeezed [the pen] and wrote. The next day, I was punished for how I had written. It was said that I had specially done it so that the handwriting was unrecognizable.

Well, the logic. I write after the torture testimony, and that the handwriting was "not mine", right? The meaning of what? They see in everything a dirty trick, absolutely in everything.

While writing the testimony I examine a bit the premises of the shooting gallery. The hanger stood, the gas mask hangs on it, soldiers' belts with heavy buckles with "stars", the bits stand-two pieces. It is clear that these are tools for torture.

The second day of torture was easier. Though they did not drown. Only an electric shock and a bat.

- That is, after the first day of torture, it continued the next day at once?

- Yes. And every time you hear the sound of keys in the corridor, you already have a heart popping up. Because now either the door will be opened and you will be summoned, or simply the attendant goes through "poking around". Passes with the keys rings near the door. And does nothing, just goes on. Passes by the door, pokes with keys, and in the chamber people develop adrenaline.

- Mocking?

- Yes. And then the keysss, unlock the door, and you are already done: how to go to the execution. Especially when they call your name, they say: hands behind your back, put a packet on your head.

You put the bag on, you turn your back, the guards of the convoy zip up. If forward [hands stretch], it's good - nothing will happen, but back - now you will be tortured.

When you listen for hours, how someone is tortured, and you do not know what their fantasies are enough for you, it's hard. It's very hard.

On the second day, in addition to the [criminal] case, they accused me also of: Aviation. Has bombed. Positions. of APU.

What kind of aviation does the militia have ?! That is, this is either their level of awareness, or, I do not know, the level of thinking. I already say:

- Yes, yes, sorry.
- Sorry? Thirty guys died because of you. Your "sorry" is like having broken a jug – would glue. The cracks will still remain cracks.
We are already in philosophy. And on the third day, apparently, another employees tortured. They did not know about the aviation: they said, because of your fault the militia artillery shot the positions of the APU, 25 guys  were killed. So, they were confused about that.

- Maybe it was invented to settle the feeling of guilt?

- Well yes. They had to make a person feel guilty, and so on ...

- Maybe they were just told so to become angrier? Now, he must go to torture, and he is told that 25 people died because of this man.

- Maybe so. Also ... I knew perfectly well that at that moment there was not a single projectile from the side of the militia. No one was killed. There is a document, a special investigation: no injured or material damage was detected.

- Did they not start the case?

- Why? It's going on. The court was appointed eight times, and each time was postponed: the judge did not come, then he stayed in the room, the third judge fell ill. And that's how it is every time.

- They are afraid that the case will break apart in court?

- Yes, because it is, it's really unuable.

- It turns out, the fact of having a criminal case is important for them, but it can not be solved so that they can be operated on if necessary.

- Yes. They put an A.P.B. on me out.

- What for?

- Because I'm wanted so far.

- For what?

- For separatist activities ...

- Domestic separatism?

- No, article 258 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, part 3 (Terrorist act - author's note). Despite the fact that they did not reveal anything.

Well, on the third day I was tortured as well. Еlectroshocker was discharged completely, to absolute zero. Muscles was reduced as if a string stretched. It was ... God forbid.

Then the guys-criminals said they had thought: Well, the third day, everything should come to an end, probably, they would lead me to investigator.

Exactly! They took me to the investigator. He was young. Alexander Valeryevich ... forgot the name. There they offered me cooperation, so that they can help me through the church. That is, if I work for them, they promise to advance along the church line.

"That is, can they influence the affairs of the church?"

- I know how. Since the beginning of the nineties [the last century], when the late Metropolitan Volodymyr came to [the church] power in Kiev, he began to actively Ukrainize the Donbass.

How?

Western Ukraine recruited the children who wanted to become priests, they passed a two-month seminary course, they were quickly ordained, sent to the Donbass, Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Belgorod ... In general, everywhere. Especially in the Lugansk, Kharkov, Donetsk regions. At us all practically decent - zapadentsy (natives from the Western Ukraine - a comment auth.).

Naturally, what will happen when events such as this war begin? People came from there, they are not really believers ... Why are they ordained and become priests, people from Western Ukraine? They have a tradition: if a young man is ordained, becomes a priest, comes to the village, then the parish gives him a house (or builds or buys) with all the furnishings, land to the house, and God forbid that the priest's wife go out to work.

They all "shoot themselves" collectively, you know? They, like serfs, will work for their own people, whom they themselves do themselves, plow on it, and cringe. And then they say that we are some slaves, not free.

There are a lot of such children who want to live so beautifully in Western Ukraine. Do you want to be a priest? Yes, because he understands that immediately there will be a house, a car, a land and a servant a heap. And every word of it will be perceived uttered from the highest rostrum.

Recently there was the case when the "Filaret" so-called priest (a representative of the so-called "Kiev Patriarchate", not recognized by the Orthodox world - author's note) refused to burial the parishioner because he had a debt of 2,000 hryvnia (about 4 thousand rubles - note author). I do not remember exactly. Or two thousand, or twenty.

How do you think, when the war begins, how will these so-called priests behave? They will not cooperate with the SBU?

Of course, such priests-zapadentsy began to work with pleasure for the SBU. I was told a case when one of our clergy was caught, he copied out roadblocks and transported them there (to the territory controlled by Kiev - author's note). Accidentally in the glove compartment of the car found a scheme.

At the time of arrest he was frightened: he did not expect, because the honored archpriest is all that. In Russian, it does not speak well, the strong accent is western.

You see, "bandarism" is like a disease.

They offered me such things. Financially it is very difficult for me now, but the soul is calm. I'm not worried about this.

Then I sat in a temporary detention facility. In Mariupol. For nine or ten days with a plant man who took me to a conversation: why do you sit, who do you know, and with whom are you? Well, so, in an amicable way. Then they were transferred to the pre-trial detention facilities.

There was such a nasty scene when we ... I was brought with this person for fluorography to a regular hospital. SBUshniki lead me. Put handcuffs, fastened me and him to themselfes. One comes into the office alone, the queue is, of course, in front of him. People saw us, they understood that these are separatists. They lowered their eyes to the ground.

And one woman began to yell: that these "separars" were brought, they will not pass without a queue!

It was clear that people sympathize, but they can not do anything.

To be continued…
Elena Winter Translated by Elena Winter
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