Workers World is publishing this urgent statement from the Marxist organization Union Borotba (Struggle) of Ukraine.
Ukrainian leftist political activists Maxim Firsov, Victor Shapinov and Maria Muratova are missing in Donetsk.
At around 3 p.m. on Dec. 21, the Borotba members were kidnapped by unknown persons. The kidnappers introduced themselves as members of Battalion Vostok of the Donetsk People’s Militia.
According to the information available to us, the comrades are being held together with captured Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers in the commandant’s office on Elevatornaya Street in Donetsk city.
Communists Shapinov, Firsov and Muratova have fought all their lives against the Ukrainian ultranationalists and oligarchs, and were persecuted in Kiev and Odessa for their stance against the Ukrainian authorities.
Today, Battalion Vostok agreed to a plan, issuing from the Ukrainian side, to exchange a Ukrainian reconnaissance and sabotage group for imprisoned members of the people’s militia.
If our comrades fall into the hands of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), they face repression in the dungeons of the Kiev junta. There is the threat of death from Ukrainian fascist militants.
We appeal to Donetsk People’s Republic Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko, Denis Pushilin, Battalion “Vostok” Commander Alexander Sergeyevich Khodakovsky, Boris A. Litvinov and Dr. Andrei Purgin to intervene in the situation and take measures to release the anti-fascists Victor Shapinov, Maxim Firsov and Maria Muratova.
Workers World contributing editor Greg Butterfield translated this statement.