100 days of captivity. The story of the photographer who took pictures of the Russian occupiers entering a village in the Kharkiv region At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Anatoliy Harahatyi filmed from his balcony how a column of Russian vehicles entered the village of Savyntsi in Kharkiv Oblast. For this, the Russians took the man to the detention center, where Anatoliy spent 100 days. The Russians considered him “the greatest Bander of the Balakliia community.” Anatoliy worked as a photographer for half of his life. Even before February 24, the man decided to change his activity — he started showing life in Savyntsi in his video blog. “In 3 months, I will be 70 years old. Most of my life I have been doing my favorite thing – photography and filming, filming the history of our village,” the man shares. “A lot of video material was collected. I filmed all the children of the Savyntsi Lyceum, simultaneously filmed holidays, evenings, various events. In December 2021, I opened my YouTube channel, began to publish my archives” In the 3 months before the full-scale invasion, Anatoliy uploaded more than 300 videos to his channel. On March 2, when the Russian occupation army entered his village, he filmed it on camera. He recalls that he did not think of leaving the village, because he believed that the war would end quickly. “I did not hesitate to film a column of racist troops and immediately put it on the Internet, without thinking about the consequences. And the consequences came, of course. On May 28, I was arrested.” When the Russian invaders came to Anatoliy in May, they took away his camera, computers and documents. The man himself was beaten and taken to the detention center in nearby Balakliia. “I spent 100 days in prison – the biggest Bander citizen of the Balakliia community, no one has been in prison longer than me” In captivity, the man lost 10 kilograms. The Russian occupiers tortured the man with electric currents for the filmed video and wanted to force him to shoot propaganda videos. “I slept by the door. I put some clothes on the cement and slept on it. Because six men were smoking in the cell, and I have been leading a healthy lifestyle for several years, a vegetarian, and I do not digest smoke. And they were smoking, I have nothing to breathe and slept there,” shares a resident of Savyntsi. “I get up, breathe, lie down, breathe, lie down. And I barely survived. The humidity in our cell was about 80% and the temperature was 35 degrees. I don’t know how we survived there.” “Interrogations with electric shocks, electric shock torture. That was all. They wanted me to work for them, to shoot videos in Balaklia, publish my YouTube channel and show it, praise Putin and the Russian army. I flatly refused and was imprisoned for it for so long,” says Anatoliy. Passed 8 interrogations In captivity, Ukrainians were fed porridge, bread was given once a week. “Everybody had two liters of water a day, but if they didn’t have it, then we didn’t either” During 100 days of captivity, 70-year-old Anatoliy was interrogated 8 times. “When you go to an interrogation and talk in Ukrainian, for every word you get a stun gun or a stick. That’s how I learned the Russian language there. During the interrogations – only Russian. You won’t live to see the end of the interrogation. I’m almost 70 years old, as many times as necessary with that stick to touch to stay there?”, the man recalls. “One guy was being interrogated, and then a shell just landed 50 meters from the police district station. They hit the chairs. The guy is sitting no matter what, and they hit them, stopped the interrogation, and let him go back to the cell. How they fear for their skin,” — he adds. For a month and a half, Anatoliy did not give his family news about whether he was alive. “I wondered if they would let me go. And then, when they began to let the guys I knew from Savintsy go, I started telling them: “Tell my wife that he is alive and well. I will be soon.” And she already learned from these guys where, who, what, how they were carrying the transmissions,” says Anatoliy. During the captivity, the occupiers took two of the eight packages from Anatoliy’s wife. “They are no longer alive – those who took me away. Because they were already killed here. How they fled from Savyntsi, from Dovhalivka – they ran, it’s scary to say how. There were 50 men sitting on the tank. They drove, pressed each other – how they were afraid of death” Returned to the torture chamber to film it The man was released from captivity in September, four days before the release of Balakliia. “How can they defeat people like us? Never in their lives! They don’t know why here, but we know why – we are defending our country, our Motherland.” 10 days after returning home, Anatoliy picked up a camera and started shooting videos in liberated communities – instead of holidays, the man films the destruction and testimonies of local residents. “In two months, I captured more than 10 broken schools. Where the children studied – ruins. This is the “Russian measure”? What does it carry? What is it? These are inhumans!” In December, Anatoliy returned to the torture chamber to show journalists the conditions of his stay. For filming, he borrowed a camera from friends, because his equipment was stolen by the Russians. “My boyfriends gave me a video camera and a computer for a certain period of time. I continue to film and post my ruins on YouTube – the consequences of this “Russian measure”, – says Anatoliy. “Everything is fine, victory will be ours”

Source: Ukrainian Public TV