A Briton, a Croat and a Swede captured in Mariupol face the death penalty. The trial will resume in October.
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Published on 08/15/2022 23:19
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Moscow-backed separatist authorities in the Donetsk region began trying three Britons, a Croat and a Swede on Monday (August 15th). They are accused of having fought for the Ukrainian army as “mercenaries”, which could earn some of them a death sentence.
The Croatian, Swedish and one of the British prisoners were taken prisoner in the area of the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, which had been besieged and bombarded for weeks by the Russian army. All three risk the death penalty, according to the Russian state agency Ria Novosti (in Russian), which specifies that they are being prosecuted for attempting to “take power by force” and for “participating in an armed conflict as a mercenary”.
Of the two remaining British prisoners, one is accused of mercenary activity, and the other of “having participated in the recruitment of mercenaries” for Ukraine. The five have pleaded not guilty, according to the Russian state agency TASS (in English). The trial will resume in early October, TASS said, without giving any explanation. They are not the first foreign soldiers to be threatened with death by the separatist authorities: in early June, two British and a Moroccan had already been sentenced to death, before appealing.
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