26 June 2015
On June 9th, 2014, the IZOLYATSIA complex was seized by mercenaries of the self-proclaimed «Donetsk People’s Republic» to facilitate «humanitarian aid» arriving from Russia.
The militia of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" invaded and seized the territory of the former insulation materials factory, where the IZOLYATSIA Foundation had been based since 2010. They claimed to need the territory for storing "humanitarian aid" that was arriving from the Russian Federation and as bomb shelter. DPR immediately installed a sniper on top of IZOLYATSIA's slag-heap (terrikon).
The self-proclaimed "DPR" militia looted the foundation's premises, vandalizing property, removing equipment and the contents of the foundation's safety vault. The Foundation has filed petitions to the General Prosecutor's Office, Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, no consequent action was taken on the part of the local Donetsk or central government authorities to deal with these crimes.
IZOLYATSIA appealed with an open letter to one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed "DPR" with a demand to stop blocking the evacuation of artworks and valuable equipment from the territory. Refusing to respond, the militia reasserted the fact that the territory will remain sealed off to the IZOLYATSIA team and that no property will be returned.
Access to the territory remained blocked while the invaders claimed that the territory was being mined (later refuted that statement). The militia was being aided by Russian Federation's Battalion "Vostok" as was evident by the presence of a gunman known as "Mongol".
Metal structures were being cut up and taken out for scrap, most probably with other property belonging to IZOLYATSIA and the former factory.
It has become known that the "DPR" has established a "special committee" on the territory of the former factory with Leonid Baranov as chief. In an interview with Russian media Baranov said that the special committee carries out investigative and punitive functions. Furthermore, it is reported that Battalion "Vostok," consisting of Chechen and Ossetian mercenaries has a base on the territory.
The media has repeatedly reported that hostages and illegally detained persons are being held on the factory territory by the militia of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic". The hostages' relatives have confirmed this information.
A criminal investigation is launched into the armed seizure of the factory territory by unknown persons that associate themselves with the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic", illegal detainment of persons and abduction of the foundation's property.
To this day, IZOLYATSIA has been unable to salvage from the seized territory its institutional archive, library, a 3-D printer and a laser-cutter that were part of IZOLab, computers, and many artworks (not to mention the loss of site-specific installations scattered around the territory and other property).
Since that time the territory of the celebrated cultural foundation has been used to provide a base for training combatants affiliated to the «DPR» forces, whilst also functioning as a detention centre. IZOLYATSIA’s offices, galleries and art spaces have been looted and cannibalised for materials and equipment. The foundation has evacuated its team and since then it continues to perform its mission in Kyiv.