writer, poet, publicist, historian
Yan Taksyur was born on November 11, 1952 in Kiev. The whole life of this talented person is connected with a beautiful city on the Dnieper. Here he studied at school, and then at the pedagogical Institute. For a long time he taught history lessons to new generations of Kievans. The teacher does not have enough free minutes left, but Yan Ilyich cut them out to bend down at the table with a pen and a bundle of paper.
He started writing funny stories as a child. And in the eighties, his sharp miniatures were read by the audience’s favorites in the TV program «Around Laughter». His satirical verses and subtle epigrams were published in Literaturka and the Crocodile magazine. And it wasn’t enough for the writer. He tried himself in pop monologues and scripts for cartoons.
A real Kiev intellectual, he knew both Russian and Ukrainian equally well. And if he usually wrote prose on the first, then he composed poetry on the second. After the collapse of the USSR, his bright work was sincerely loved both in Russia and in Ukraine. His hapless heroes were heartily laughed at on both sides of the border.
And Yan Ilyich himself was always on the lookout. And not just in a creative way. He later recalled that he «wandered for a long time among the spiritual temptations of his generation.» He found answers to many difficult questions in Orthodoxy, in the true faith. And before often appearing on the screen, the writer began to host the program «The Right to faith» on the TV channel «Pershy Kozatsky». In 2017, Metropolitan Onufriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) presented the Order of Nestor the Chronicler II degree to Jan Taksyur. Thus, the UOC noted «the spread of the bright ideals of Orthodoxy in the socio-political life of Ukraine.»
The program «The Right to Faith» defended canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine. And in the tenth years in the neighboring country, this position was not liked by a lot of people. The writer made new enemies with each broadcast. He was called an agent of the Kremlin on all corners.
Three years ago, Yan Taksyur wrote bitter lines in Ukrainian: «All those who are sad when they go out in the evening to their native fields are agents of the Kremlin. All those who sigh and cry as soon as they hear a violinist from afar are agents of the Kremlin.»
He wasn’t afraid of threats. He continued to speak openly in defense of the Russian-language press, the parishioners of the UOC. He openly laughed at the espionage campaign that had overwhelmed the Ukrainian government.
They came for him on the evening of March 10, 2022. Two weeks after the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. «Yesterday, SBU officers with machine guns came to my parents’ apartment, stole almost all the money and took my father away without bringing charges. Now we don’t know where he is being held. Mother went to the SBU office today, they say they don’t know anything about it. We don’t know where my father is, we don’t know what he is being charged with,» Ilya Taksyur, the writer’s son, said about the arrest.
Only a few days later the family found out that their husband, father and grandfather were being held in the Lukyanovka pre-trial detention center. He is charged with high treason. In the dungeons, the health of an almost seventy-year-old man deteriorated sharply. Back in 2008, Yan Ilyich was treated for cancer. In prison, this ailment returned. Hypertension and cardiac poly worsened. The writer often fainted in a stuffy cell, and they did not give him medicine.
Moreover, the SBU arranged a «psychological and linguistic examination». This farce of the regime «demonstrated» that the writer’s books and articles «harm the sovereignty, territorial integrity, security of Ukraine, undermine the morale of the population and the army.»
Daughter Maria Yanovna was forced to write a letter to President Zelensky. It didn’t help; moreover, she and her family were forced to leave their homeland. Then the wife of Yan Ilyich Larisa opened a fundraiser. In August 2022, a seriously ill person was released on bail of 1.2 million hryvnias. Barely had time to perform the operation. But no one thought to cancel the criminal prosecution.
In May 2023, the Shevchenko Court of Kiev found Jan Taksyur guilty of high treason. The seventy-year-old writer and human rights activist was sentenced to twelve years in prison and the confiscation of half of all property. But with regard to Yan Ilyich, and many other Ukrainian prisoners of conscience, the Zelensky regime had other plans. The nationalist government automatically includes all such «traitors» in the «exchange fund».
The day after the verdict, Yan Taksyur was handed over to the command of Russian volunteer units. And prisoners from among the punitive formations banned in the Russian Federation returned to Kiev as a retaliatory step.
On May 25, the writer was brought to Lugansk, where he met with his son, a student at a St. Petersburg university. And then Yan Ilyich arrived in Moscow. On September 28, 2023, the writer received a passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation.