Write to Russia: Ukrainian citizens Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko and Nataliia Prydatchenko – imprisoned in violation of the Geneva Conventions

Between 4 and 21 December 2024, Ukrainian citizens Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko, and Nataliia Prydatchenko were all convicted by the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don of ‘participation in a terrorist group’ (Article 205.4, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code). Detained by Russian security forces after the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the course of 2022, all four had served in various years in the 24th Separate Assault Battalion of the Ukrainian armed forces that was created in 2015 on the basis of the Aidar battalion.

Nataliia Prydatchenko, who had served in 2020-2021 as a cook, was sentenced to five years in a low-security penal colony; Viktoriia Tkachenko, who had worked in 2017-2020 in various positions, was given the same sentence; Volodymyr Linnyk, who in 2016 had served as a turner, was sentenced to six years in a general regime penal colony; and Volodymyr Udovyka, who in 2017-2018 had served as a gunner, was sentenced to five years in a strict regime penal colony, with the first two years to be served in a cell-type prison.

Memorial has designated all four Ukrainian citizens as political prisoners. The organisation has stated:

Ukrainians Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko, and Nataliia Prydatchenko were not tried for specific violent offences, but for their involvement with the Aidar battalion of the Ukrainian armed forces. This is in gross violation of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit the prosecution of combatants for participation in an armed conflict and the use of collective punishment. We consider that the Russian authorities have designated individual units of the Ukrainian armed forces as terrorist groups in an attempt to justify collective punishment. We note that decisions to designate the Aidar battalion as a terrorist organisation were adopted in the self-proclaimed DNR and LNR in 2016. These decisions are legally null and void due to the illegality of these entities themselves. In the Russian Federation, the decision to designate the Aidar battalion as a terrorist entity was adopted in September 2023. Moreover, all these decisions concern the Aidar battalion, not the 24th Separate Assault Battalion of the Ukrainian armed forces. Furthermore, all the persons convicted had resigned from the Ukrainian armed forces before the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Memorial, 5 April 2024

Write to Russia – Write to Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko, and Nataliia Prydatchenko

The Russian penal system does not allow any messages to prisoners that are written in foreign languages, but Write to Russia is here to help you. To write to Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko, and Nataliia Prydatchenko to show your support for them, please send your letters as an email to us at: letters-to-prisoners@protonmail.com. We shall translate the letters into Russian for you and, depending on your request, either mail the translated letters on your behalf to Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko, and Nataliia Prydatchenko or return the letter to you by email for posting in an envelope with an address written in Russian. If we send the letter on your behalf, we ask that you compensate us for the cost of postage from the UK (currently £2.50 – $3.14; €2.92). To learn more about our letter writing project, click here: Write to Russia.

The address to write to Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko, and Nataliia Prydatchenko is:

344022, г. Ростов-на-Дону, ул. М. Горького, д. 219, ФКУ СИЗО-1 ГУФСИН России по Ростовской области,

Удовике Владимиру Ильичу, 1968 г. р.,

Линнику Владимиру Васильевичу, 1974 г. р.,

Ткаченко Виктории Владимировне, 1994 г. р.,

Придатченко Натальи Ивановне, 1980 г. р.


If you would like to write to another person unjustly deprived of liberty in Russia, the project Write to Russia has so far highlighted the following cases:

  1. Sasha (Aleksandra) Skochilenko – imprisoned for peaceful anti-war protest – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-2/
  2. Mikhail Zhilin – imprisoned for refusing to fight against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-3/
  3. Aleksei Arbuzenko – imprisoned for protesting the war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-4/
  4. Aleksei Navalny – imprisoned for peaceful participation in electoral politics – died in custody – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-5/
  5. Evgeny Zinich- imprisoned for his faith – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-6/
  6. Alsu Kurmasheva – held on remand for her work as a journalist – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-7/
  7. Bakhrom Khamroev – imprisoned for his political and religious beliefs and human rights work – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-8
  8. Andrei Kapatsyna – imprisoned for his religious beliefs and refusing to fight in Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-9
  9. Gregory Vinter – imprisoned for speaking out about the killings in Bucha and Irpen – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-10
  10. Aleksei Gorinov – imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-11/
  11. Vladimir Kara-Murza – imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-12/
  12. Darya Poliudova – imprisoned for exercising her right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-13/
  13. Ilya Yashin – Ilya Yashin – imprisoned for speaking out about Russian war crimes in Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-14/
  14. Appaz Kurtamet – imprisoned on fabricated charges of ‘financing an illegal armed group’ by a Russian-controlled court in occupied Crimea – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-15/
  15. Vyacheslav Malakhov – remanded in custody for criticising Putin for launching the war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-16/
  16. Maria Ponomarenko – imprisoned for sharing information about the Russian attack on the Mariupol theatre – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-17/
  17. Grigory Melkonyants – held on remand for his work monitoring elections – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-18/
  18. Daniil Stepanov – imprisoned for anti-war ‘vandalism’ and ‘cooperation with ‘foreign organisations’ – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-19/
  19. Evgenia Berkovich – a theatre director held on remand on charges of ‘justifying terrorism’ in violation of the right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-20/
  20. Svetlana Petriychuk – a playwright held on remand on charges of ‘justifying terrorism’ in violation of the right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-21
  21. Oleg Orlov – prominent human rights defender imprisoned for exercising the right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-22
  22. Nariman Dzhelyal – Crimean Tatar activist imprisoned on false charges – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-23/
  23. Eduard Sharlot – a musician remanded in custody for criticising Russia’s war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-24/
  24. Darya Kozyreva – remanded in custody on charges of ‘discrediting’ the Russian army – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-25/
  25. Evgeniya Maiboroda – imprisoned for five and a half years on charges of ‘discrediting the Russian army’ – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-26/