The parents of a kidnapped Belarusian student begged President Putin to “release his daughter”

Master's student Sophia Sapega was in the wrong place at the wrong time

Master’s student Sofya Sapega was in the wrong place at the wrong time

“Mama” is the only message that 23-year-old Russian student Sophia Sapega arrived at her mother before she lost contact after a fighter-escorted Ryanair jet was forced to land in Minsk. was.

Hours after the letter arrived, Sophia was imprisoned in a KGB prison in Belarus and detained with her boyfriend in a brazen arrest that surprised Europe and the world.

Her main crime It seems that he was traveling with Roman ProtasevichA 26-year-old dissident blogger was accused of helping organize a large-scale democratic movement in Belarus last year.

“We thought Roman might be in trouble, but Sophia was in trouble too …” Sapega’s stepfather, Sergei Dudić, told The Sunday Telegraph.

“When she was detained, they were detaining her as Roman’s girlfriend and thought she would leave soon. Then a confession came.”

Sophia Sapega, left and center, happy times and confession video, right

Sophia Sapega, left and center, happy times and confession video, right

The day after Belarusian state media released a disturbing video confessing that Mr. Protasevic was sitting at his desk and organizing a “massive riot” in Belarus. A similar video of Mr. Sapega was posted to the same social media account...

After tanning in the sun for two weeks in Greece, the student, dressed in a black leather jacket and jeans, named himself. She then “acknowledges” last year editing a social media channel that released personal information about Belarusian police officers in retaliation for the astonishing atrocities against public protesters.

Sapega’s family didn’t believe it at all.

“We know her very well, but it wasn’t like her. She couldn’t sin herself.”

Protasevic’s fate is expected to reflect the fate of dozens of detained activists who reported physical torture and psychological pressure in Belarus’ secret prisons, but Sapega’s future is her Russia. Not very certain because of citizenship.

On Friday night in the Black Sea city of Sochi, Vladimir Putin gave support to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and dispelled the anger of the West.

Did Lukashenko even go too far to Putin?

Did Lukashenko even go too far to Putin?

Lukashenko told Putin, “There are always people who cause problems for us. You know. I will let you know.”

But under the hood, Putin may wonder if one of his most credible allies has cheated too much this time.

Earlier this week, a popular Russian opposition blogger issued a petition calling on the Kremlin to bring Mr. Sapega home, spurring a wave of anger in Russia.

Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded RT, accused Lukashenko of imprisoning a Russian woman, saying:

In a recent column by Russia’s avid parent Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Prouda, Alexander Lukashenko expressed concern about the confession video as important evidence for Mr. Sapega of the Lucashenko administration. Short confession video by Russian citizens, And I’m not ready to accept their words. “

Sapega’s mother, Anna Daddic, was beaten up by her husband, who was suffering during the interview. She wrote a petition to the Kremlin earlier this week to secure her daughter’s release to Russian authorities. Asked to help.

Roman Protasevic, Sophia's boyfriend

Roman Protasevic, Sophia’s boyfriend

The Kremlin’s remarks made after President Putin’s Friday summit did not mention Russian prisoners, even though a Kremlin spokesman suggested her release earlier this week.

“I hope they understand that she’s just a girl,” said Dudić. “She’s only 23 years old, but such people live her life like this. I hope it doesn’t break. “

Approximately a week after Sapega was detained, Sapega’s lawyer was not allowed to see her.

The female defense was allegedly suspected of being an unspecified criminal office. At a court hearing on Friday, the actual charges were not revealed when the judge dismissed the defense’s appeal against her two-month arrest.

Recognized by friends and family as a sociable and friendly person with an interest in art and fashion, Sapega was born to Russian parents in Vladivostok, the Pacific Ocean, and is a town in Belarus near the Lithuanian border. I moved to Lida. Mother Anna, 47 years old, Mr. Daddic 42 years old.

Sophia Sapega, as a young girl with her mother and stepfather

Sophia Sapega, as a young girl with her mother and stepfather

Sapega attended a university in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Because Lithuania is an hour away from Lida by bus.

After a two-week vacation in Crete and Athens, the student and her boyfriend returned to Lithuania, where Sapega planned to complete her master’s thesis.

Her parents have denied allegations that the young woman may even have attended a large rally in Minsk last summer …

It wasn’t until the New Year that she met her boyfriend, who was wanted by the Belarusian government, in Lithuania.

“When we learned who he was and the charges he was facing, we warned her … she said she was in love.”