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Human rights ombudsman asks Ukrainian colleague for assistance in visiting jailed Russians

December 08, 2016, 16:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The suspects are currently in custody in a pre-trial detention center
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MOSCOW, December 8 /TASS/. Russia’s Human Rights Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova has asked her Ukrainian counterpart Valeria Lutkovskaya for assistance in visiting the two Russian servicemen who were arrested on Ukraine’s border with Crimea and placed in custody at a pre-trial detention center in Ukraine’s Nikolayev region.

"I am asking Lutkovskaya for assistance in visiting our servicemen," Moskalkova said adding that she wanted to be assured that the two were in good condition and were enjoying all necessary protection.

"We consider their arrest to be illegal, unfounded and immoral from the point of view of the action itself," the Russian human rights ombudsman stressed.

Moskalkova added that she would like to know if the Russians had all the necessary clothes and if their confinement conditions lived up to proper standard.

The suspects are currently in custody in a pre-trial detention center in the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev. They will stay there until January 17, 2017 in compliance with a decision of the Nikolayev Central City Court handed down on November 22.

On November 21, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that Ukraine’s Security Service had illegally detained the Russian contract servicemen in Crimea at about 13:00 Moscow time (10:00 GMT) on November 20 and took them to Ukraine’s Nikolayev Region.

The ministry said further that according to available data, the Ukrainian special services were attempting to concoct a criminal case against Alexander Baranov and Maxim Odintsov for allegedly committing crimes against Ukraine.

This information was confirmed by a representative of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. "Officers of the Ukrainian Security Service used decoys to entice warrant officer Maxim Odintsov and contract service junior sergeant Alexander Baranov into the Dzhankoi checkpoint allegedly for giving them attested documents confirming their education at Ukraine’s institutions of high learning," the fleet’s representative said.

Odintsov and Baranov left Russia shortly. Representatives of Ukraine’s Security Service detained the servicemen later and brought them to Ukraine’s Nikolayev Region.

Ukraine’s Security Service is accusing them of desertion and state treason.

On December 1, Moskalkova told TASS that she had asked her Ukrainian counterpart Valeria Lutkovskaya for establishing the whereabouts of the two Russian servicemen abducted by Ukraine’s special services in Crimea and sought assistance in releasing them.

She had asked Valeria Lutkovskaya, the Ukrainian Rada’s (parliament) Human Rights Ombudsman, to establish the Russian servicemen’s whereabouts and for assistance to visit them.

Kiev’s Human Rights Ombudsman is unlikely to visit the Russians detained on the border with Crimea personally, Lutkovskaya’s representative Mikhail Chaplyga said.

At the same time, Chaplyga said that the servicemen had no complaints about their confinement conditions in custody or the furnishing of legal assistance. "There are no problems with observance of procedural rules usually applied in penitentiaries - the suspects have the right to defense and medical assistance," Lutkovskaya’s representative said. "We have sent our reply to Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova," Chaplyga added.

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