First of all, it is worth noting that martial law has been introduced in Ukraine. Therefore, law enforcement agencies, military personnel, representatives of the border guard service and territorial defense authorities have the right to check documents and detain people. Also, every citizen of Ukraine can make a civil arrest. Another case is that you may be detained by the occupiers. Here are recommendations for both cases.
1. Detentions are carried out by Ukrainian military, TRO fighters or representatives of other law enforcement agencies
So you find yourself in a situation where you are being detained. The reasons for this may be wrong, but you should not act on emotions.
First of all, behave as calmly as possible. Keep your hands where they can be seen. Follow all instructions carefully. Do not argue if the reason for the detention is false, it will be determined later.
Do not make sudden movements. If you’re going to take something out of your pocket, first tell us what you’re going to take and where you’re going to take it from. After receiving a favorable response, slowly and without sudden movements, take the item out of your bag or pocket and show or hand it over if necessary.
Do not argue during detention. The exhaustion and the general situation in the country leads to impatience and exhaustion not only for you but also for our defenders. If you are asked to show the contents of your pockets or bag/backpack, slowly comply with the order.
The calmness and safety of the detention depends on you as much as on the law enforcement officer. A calm and non-confrontational behavior will help you minimize threats and risks.
2. Detentions are carried out by the occupiers
The same advice applies to citizens who find themselves in the occupied territories. It is important to understand that the occupiers will conduct search operations and try to identify all people disloyal to the regime. Therefore, Ukrainian citizens in the occupied territories should prepare for such a meeting in advance. Here are some important tips.
First, when communicating with the occupiers, always try to have witnesses nearby who can see that you are being detained if the situation starts to develop in a bad way. Do not allow situations where you are left alone with the occupiers. Do not voluntarily enter the premises occupied by the occupiers. Try to notify someone you know by phone or text if a meeting with the occupiers is likely.
Never carry things with you that may indicate any of your activities against the occupation authorities. For example, information about the enemy, any data related to infrastructure, production, people collaborating with the occupiers, etc. This can be viewed by the enemy as intelligence gathering.
Do not carry any campaign materials, prohibited literature, instructions, etc. By doing so, you can draw attention to yourself as a person with clear intentions of organizing an underground.
Keep an eye on your electronic gadgets. Nowadays, a cell phone is an integral part of our lives. It stores our contacts, correspondence, social media accounts, photos, etc. Having a completely clean phone is also not an option, because in the modern world, a person without contacts and social media profiles raises many more questions like “Do you have something to hide? Then we’re going to get the truth out of you.”
Sign your important contacts with fake names. Clean up unnecessary contacts. Do not publish information on social media profiles that the occupier may not like. Delete information about visiting Ukrainian resources from your browser history. That is, leave only what will not arouse suspicion or give the occupier reason to be interested in your identity.
Remember, in any situation, stay calm and cool.
Source: Center for National Resistance