Skip to content
Edit post

Exiled Russian activist says security services are holding his brother hostage

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 23, 2023 3:08 PM 2 min read
A photo from Ruslan Gabbasov's personal archive, showing his step-brother Rustam (left) with himself (right), posted on Facebook on Nov. 23, 2023. (Ruslan Salavatovich Gabbasov / Facebook)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The stepbrother of Ruslan Gabbasov, an exiled Bashkir independence activist, has been detained by Russian security services and is being effectively held hostage, Gabbasov said on social media on November 23.

"It just became known that a search was carried out in the house of my brother (the father of three young children), and he was taken away," Gabbasov said.

A few hours later, Gabbasov posted an update, that a criminal case had been opened against his relative under the crime of "extremism."

Gabbasov heard "that the security officers had set the following condition: if I return to Russia, they will release him; if not, they will imprison him."

"My brother has never participated in political life, has never been in the opposition, he is an ordinary decent family man," Gabbasov said.

Gabbasov fled Russia in 2021 after being persecuted for advocating for the independence of the Republic of Bashkortostan, a mineral-rich territory located near the Ural mountains.

He was granted political asylum in Lithuania in April 2022.

The Russian authorities placed Gabbasov on the state list of "foreign agents" in 2022, and in 2023 on a state list of terrorists and extremists.

Russia’s "foreign agents" registry has been widely used to target and silence groups and individuals who are critical of the government, including independent journalists, activists, and NGOs.

Gabbasov now leads the Committee of the Bashkir National Movement Abroad.

The organization announced in September the creation of a "liberation army" for the Republic of Bashkortostan that will operate subordinate to the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces until the end of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Addressing the security services who detained his brother, Gabbasov said that they are mistaken to "think that this will always last."

"This regime will fall sooner or later and you will have to answer for everything."

Kremlin labels Moscow Times ‘foreign agent’
The Russian government added the Moscow Times to its list of “foreign agents,” the outlet reported, citing a Nov. 17 decision by Russia’s Justice Ministry. Several other journalists and activists were also included in the newly published list.
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
2:42 AM

US philanthropist pledges $300 million for Ukraine in 2024.

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has already donated over $500 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion. The combined funds exceed the humanitarian aid contributions of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada.
9:13 PM

UK will boost humanitarian aid to Ukraine by over $10 million.

"Ukrainians are bravely defending their land against Russia’s brutal invasion, but the past two years of war have had a tragic impact on millions of people across Ukraine. Families have been separated, towns and villages decimated, and vital civilian infrastructure destroyed," said U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron in a written statement.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.