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Russian ombudsperson visits Russian servicemen at detention center in Ukraine

December 27, 2016, 3:33 UTC+3

Moskalkova said she held a "very detailed conversation" with the Russian servicemen

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Russian human rights ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova has visited Russian servicemen at a detention center in Ukraine's Nikolaev.

"We have just come out of the detention center in the city of Nikolaev (Ukraine) where we visited two servicemen who were abducted on the border between Russia and Ukraine from the side of Crimea and who are currently held at the detention center," Moskalkova told TASS. "On the principle of reciprocity, we held a monitoring visit with (Ukrainian human rights ombudsperson Valeriya) Lutkovskaya. She visited three people at a detention center in Simferopol, and I have just visited (Alexander) Baranov and (Maxim) Odintsov in Nikolaev," she added.

Moskalkova said she held a "very detailed conversation" with the Russian servicemen. "Maxim Odintsov was invited first. We asked him about conditions of detention. He is held at a cell with 14 other people," she said. The ombudsperson said the servicemen have no complaints about conditions of detention but are very concerned with defense. "They both asked to find another lawyer and asked to help because the services of lawyers are rather expensive," Moskalkova said.

Ukraine considers the meeting between human rights ombudsperson Valeriya Lutkovskaya and her Russian counterpart Tatyana Moskalkova successful, Lutkovskaya's spokesman Mikhail Chaplyga told TASS on Tuesday. "The meeting with two detainees at the administrative border lasted for two hours," Chaplyga said referring to the meeting between Moskalkova and two Russian servicemen at a detention center in Ukraine's Nikolaev.

He added that "everything went well." "Tatyana Moskalkova kept her word and did something almost impossible. We kept our word as well. It was not easy for us. It was very very hard for us," Chaplyga wrote on his Facebook page.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said late on November 21 that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) officers had illegally detained Russian contract servicemen in Crimea at about 1pm Moscow time (10:00 GMT) on November 20 and took them to Ukraine’s Nikolaev Region.

A representative of the Russian Black Sea Fleet said officers of the Ukrainian Security Service used substitute persons to entice warrant officer Odintsov and contract service junior sergeant Baranov into the Dzhankoi checkpoint allegedly for giving them attested documents of receiving higher education at Ukrainian higher educational institutions.

Shortly after Odintsov and Baranov left Russia’s territory, the servicemen were detained by representatives of the Ukrainian Security Service and brought to Ukraine’s Nikolaev Region, he added. Ukraine’s SBU accused the servicemen of breaking the military oath and high treason.

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