Iryna Horobtsova

Iryna Horobtsova – activist, volunteer and IT-specialist from Kherson.

Since May 13, 2022, she has been a prisoner of the Russian military without the provision of charges by the occupation authorities. Iryna Horobtsova was born on May 13, 1985. She worked as a tester in one of the leading Ukrainian IT companies, she has a university degree in Psychology. 

After the occupation of Kherson, Iryna actively helped its’ residents: she bought food and medicines and delivered them to the hospitals, helped collect funds for medical care and transport for the people of Kherson. She conducted active pro-Ukrainian educational activities in social networks in support of the state authorities and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, described life under occupation, published photos with Ukrainian symbols, and called her apartment “the home headquarters of the resistance.”

On May 11, Horobtsova published a post demanding the extraction of “Azov” fighters blocked at the plant in Mariupol. Two days later, eleven people in military uniform, wearing masks, kidnapped the activist from the house where she lived with her parents and ransacked it, seizing all the appliances and her mobile phone. The kidnappers were in special cars with the letter “Z”.

After the abduction, the relatives lost contact with Iryna, and the Russian occupation authorities reported that the daughter was taken to Crimea.

Lawyer Emil Kurbedinov has sent requests to the management of Detention Center No. 1 in Simferopol. At first, Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) and the Ministry of Defense officially replied that Iryna was not in detention facilities. Subsequently, on June 28, 2022, the lawyer received a response from the Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Crimea, in which Horobtsova was recognized as detained for allegedly “resisting special operation.” The letter stated that a “decision regarding her” would be made “after the completion of a special military operation on the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and Ukraine.” The letter did not specify either the authority holding the woman in custody or her whereabouts.

At the same time, the leadership of the occupying “Ministry of Internal Affairs” officially announced that Horobtsova is in Simferopol Detention Center No. 1, but “she opposed the special operation, so after the special operation is complete, appropriate measures will be taken on her account.” The occupying law enforcement authorities did not provide the reasons, requested by the lawyer, for the actual deprivation of Iryna’s freedom. “If this is so, then she was subjected to extrajudicial persecution and punishment. This deprives a person of legal protection,” concludes the lawyer.

Iryna Horobtsova’s parents wrote a letter to Detention Center No. 1 in Simferopol through the “Zonatelecom” network (provides communication services to convicts in Russian penitentiary institutions and their relatives). The letter was received and Iryna replied.

On November 24, the activist from Kherson was taken from Detention Center No. 1 in Simferopol to the occupation headquarters of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) in Crimea. There she was interrogated on a polygraph. At the same time, no suspicions or accusations were brought against her.

Place of detention: Detention Center No. 1 in Simferopol

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