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Moscow secures release of Russian national illegally convicted in Ukraine

December 27, 2016, 9:19 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Russia has been able to secure the release of Russian citizen, Vladimir Bezobrazov, who was illegally charged with a criminal offense in Ukraine, Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson, Svetlana Petrenko, informed TASS on Tuesday.

"Thanks to the efforts by the Russian side, we have been able to secure the release of Russian citizen, Vladimir Bezobrazov, abducted by Ukraine’s Security Service officers and illegally charged with a criminal offense in Ukraine," she said, adding that the Investigative Committee had been able to identify the kidnappers’ names.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, in June 2014, Bezobrazov and his family were vacationing in Odessa, where he was detained without any grounds and accused of recruiting local residents to take part in the armed conflict alongside the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics (DPR, LPR) against Ukrainian army units and nationalist battalions. "During the interrogation referred to as just a friendly conversation by representatives of the Ukrainian Security Service, Bezobrazov was subjected to physical and psychological pressure to make him confess to the crimes he allegedly committed," the Investigative Committee’s spokesperson said.

"By way of exerting psychological pressure on the Russian citizen, Ukraine’s Security Service officers threatened with violence with regard to his relatives. They demonstrated his family members standing at gunpoint and were able to convince him that, if they do not secure confessionary evidence, Bezobrazov and his family would be brutally murdered by the Right Sector (extremist group, outlawed in Russia)," Petrenko added.

She noted that under these circumstances Bezobrazov had to give false testimony on his involvement in recruitment of Ukrainian citizens for taking part in the armed conflict in the Donbass region. In March 2015, he was sentenced to probation rather than a prison term in Odessa. However, he was nabbed by Ukraine’s Security Service officers again as he was leaving the courtroom and was kept in the so-called secret prisons (premises not intended for the purpose) without any legal grounds until December 2016.

"The Russian Investigative Committee, in collaboration with operations units, have identified the individuals involved in Bezobrazov’s abduction, but we do not disclose their names so far for legal reasons," Petrenko stressed.

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