Interview with Vita Zaverukha from the "courtroom"
Reproduction of a material from the debut issue of the newspaper "Provocateur" with the kind permission of the publisher.
Vita Zaverukha (callsign Vitaminka).
18-year-old resident of Vinnytsia region.
A soldier of the "Aydar" battalion.
Political prisoner of Poroshenko's regime.
Well-known in Ukraine and abroad (front photos of Zaverukha published French magazine "ELLE," having called her "Ukrainian Joan of Arc").
Viţa is accused of shooting the workers of the "Berkut" special police unit.
Now she is in Lukyanivska jail.
- Girl at war is a rarity, so many people would be interested to know what did make personally you go there?
- Everyone has the right to war. It does not matter how old are you and what is your sex: if you have a patriotic spirit and desire to defend your liberty and freedom of your people - you have the right to war. It should not necessarily be the front line.
My choice was namely the front line. At 17 I became the "Aydar" battalion's shooter. Do not regret a single moment spent at war. Yes, it was painful, friends were dying, but war is war.
- Under which conditions do have to fight Ukrainian volunteers?
- Without the volunteers, as well as the political and information support we would have not survived.
- Many are trying now to deny the presence of Russian troops in the East. Did you personally see them? Did you capture the Russians?
- I rarely had a chance to communicate with Russian captives, mostly during their detainment. There were Kadyrov's mercenaries and volunteers from Russia and from the occupied territories. Most frequently they said that they were defending their home. However, they usually did not know themselves from whom exactly they protected their home. In short, these were brainwashed by Russian propaganda people.
There was a case of Kadyrov's mercenary who did not speak neither Ukrainian, nor Russian language. There were Kalmyks and Buryats who could not put two words together about "protecting Russian-speaking population," because they understood neither Russian, nor Ukrainian. Against such contingent we have to fight.
- In a temporary detention cell you repeatedly tried to take your own life. Why?
- It happened in May. In three consecutive days in the temporary detention cell they conducted the so-called interrogations (these were not really interrogations, but psychological pressure combined with physical torture). During interrogations were present the investigators and operatives. When I demanded a lawyer, no one reacted. They intimidated, threatened my parents and husband. I wrote a statement to a chief of the temporary detention cell, warned that if they further violate my right to meet my lawyer Victor Smaliy, I will commit a suicide. They did not react anyhow.
Realizing that I have no other choice than to act decisively, I committed a suicide attempt in my single-celling... Cops pulled me out of the loop and threw me in underwear in a solitary cell. At this point emerged my plan "B": I gnawed through my veins. Police called the psychiatric emergency and brought cigarettes. In response to the question whether it hurt I put a cigarette out on my hand.
On arrival of the mental hospital workers they injected an unknown drug. The next morning I barely got up. But my efforts were not in vain. On the same day I was transferred to Kyiv prison (it had to be done about two weeks ago) and called lawyer Smaliy.
- How would you describe the current reality of political imprisonment?
- Here, in custody, stay many volunteers of Right Sector's "DUK" and "Aydar." Each of them was ready to die for their country, but due to the whims of oligarchs these people, true heroes, are doomed to rot in prisons.
Poroshenko promised the participants of ATO an accommodation in Kyiv. He fulfilled his promise. However, some got the apartments in prisons, and others - the zinc coffins. Judging from what I have already had to endure here, I believe that those who got the coffins are luckier...
- Why are so many patriots, participants of ATO are imprisoned?
- I believe that what is happening now in Ukraine is a political war against those who understood who was the real enemy of independence.
- In your opinion, do we need the Third Maidan in Ukraine?
- The answer to the question whether we need it is obvious. The real question is when will burst out in Ukraine a new wave of revolution.
I believe that the third wave will not be peaceful - people will not put up with it, for decades contemplating restoration of the oligarchic regimes. The third wave of revolution will utterly smash the rubbish which is settled now in the government offices. So back to the heart of the matter: the question is not whether the revolution will begin - it is in progress; the main thing is when will start its culmination. I hope I will not have to wait for it for too long.
Interview was conducted by Hanna Lysytsia (Fox).
Recorded on May 26 in the premises of the Court of Appeal in Kyiv. Photo by Irma Krat.