Russian illegal prison on IZOLYATSIA premises has been operational for 10 years.


9 June 2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the day when the Russian Federation started using the IZOLYATSIA premises in Donetsk as an illegal prison, a place of torture and murder. On that day, occupiers began to try to destroy modern Ukrainian culture and active civil society to intimidate Ukrainians who seek systemic changes in society.

Over these ten years, the IZOLYATSIA foundation's territory, filled with the industrial heritage and spirit of thousands of factory workers, artists and artisans, researchers and scholars, cultural center's community, as well as exhibitions, educational and creative programmes, has been transformed into a horrific detention facility designed to destroy human spirit and dignity. Through the testimonies of former hostages, it is possible to trace how, over a decade, the former premises of the foundation have increasingly adapted to their new role as a torture chamber, and the dubious reputation of the place has been overlaid with new layers of inhuman hatred by the leaders and their FSB handlers.

The experiences of former captives are known from the reports of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, publications by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Civil Liberties, the Media Initiative for Human Rights, books by Stanislav Aseyev, films by Iryna Ryabenka, Ihor Minaiev, and Valentyn Vasyanovych. More publications and translations are available here.

Russian Federation used the illegal prison in the occupied territory of the IZOLYATSIA foundation as the prototype for many illegal detention facilities, concentration and filtration camps and torture chambers. Thousands of Ukrainians went throught these horrific spaces.

In the tenth year of the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine, it is clear that the main goal set by the occupiers has not been achieved. The attack on the cultural institution created a backlash from Ukrainian civil society: the IZOLYATSIA foundation community, its friends and partners, as well as responsible people across the country. They created a new wave of cultural and civic institutions, organisations and projects that changed the face of society. Civil society became a powerful centre for change, capable of working in the most challenging conditions and endowed with unique experience that no other organisation in the world has.

The story of the transformation of the IZOLYATSIA cultural centre into an illegal prison can be found on the IZOLYATSIA Must Speak website:

Spread the word about the torture camp in Donetsk, about the thousands of people held by the Russian Federation in illegal prisons in Ukraine and Russia, to keep the attention of the international community to these and many other crimes of the Putin regime against Ukraine, Ukrainians and Ukrainian women.