Yevhen Semydotskyi: Ukrainian Sailor Captured by Russia Near Kerch Strait
The 20-year-old sailor on the Yany Kapu tugboat
UATV continues to tell the stories of Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia.
One of them is Yevhen Semydotskiy, a 20-year-old sailor who was part of the crew on the tugboat Yany Kapu.
Our correspondent went to his village in Luhansk region to talk to people who know him.
His parents struggled when talking about their son. They still cannot come to terms with what happened to him.
“His mother is very worried, she feels ill. She has high blood pressure, and she is unwell all the time,”Semydotskiy’s neighbor Olha( last name not known) said.
“He was a good guy; very obedient. He is my son’s godson. He would help you with anything you’d ask,” Semydotskiy’s neighbor Liudmyla said.
Semydotskiy’s teacher, Liudmyla Slavynska, showed us some of his old school photos. She recalled that Semydotskiy always loved games of strategy.
“He loved playing backgammon. Even when there were some events, he would teach his classmates and me how to play. He got backgammon as a present for his birthday and he would bring it to class and share his game,” Slavynska said.
His favorite subjects were geography, physical education and crafts. After ninth grade, he went to become a car mechanic. Slavynska teacher found out that he wanted to become a sailor only after he signed his contract.
“I found out when he was already in the Navy. It was very unexpected, but when we met, cause he visited me, he said that he really likes serving in the Navy,” Slavynska said.
Semydotskiy never forgot his teachers. He came to visit them last year.
“When he came in his Navy uniform, came into the classroom, all the kids started trying on his sailor hat. He was very proud. I believe Zhenya is not going to make a mistake. He is a very honest man. I believe he will prevail, despite all the odds, because he is a child that was hardened with labor. I believe he will certainly come back. And we are waiting for him,” Liubov Drahun, the school principal said.
Semydotsky is one of the 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia. The 20-year-old sailor served on the Yany Kapu tugboat. A couple of days later, a Kremlin-controlled court in Crimea charged Semydotsky on a fabricated charge of tresspassing the territorial border of Russia.