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Kremlin says received letter from son of Ukrainian charged with spying

May 22, 17:08 UTC+3 SOCHI

Roman Sushchenko faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of espionage

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SOCHI, May 22. /TASS/. The Kremlin has received a letter from a son of Ukrainian citizen Roman Sushchenko, who is charged with espionage in Russia, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

"Indeed, it was sent to (the Kremlin), the letter was written by a child, this was indeed so," Peskov said.

"But this absolutely does not change the fact of charges against Sushchenko - this is linked to his activity aimed against our country," he said.

Earlier, Sushchenko’s lawyers said that his 9-year-old son had sent a request to Russian President Vladimir Putin to release the Ukrainian.

Moscow’s Lefortovsky court earlier extended the custody of Sushchenko until June 30. Sushchenko faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of espionage.

Russia’s Federal Security Service earlier said that Col. Sushchenko, a staff member of the main intelligence department of Ukraine’s defense ministry, was detained in Moscow in late September 2016 "while on a spy mission." Sushchenko collected secret information on Russia’s Armed Forces and the National Guard and the disclosure could have undermined Russia’s defense capabilities, it said.

The Ukrainian pleads not guilty to the charges.

Lawyer Mark Feygin said his client is a reporter of the Ukrinform news agency in Paris and he came to Moscow on vacation to visit his relatives. The Ukrainian news agency confirmed this information saying that Sushchenko had been a staff member since 2002 and was "a journalist with a long-term impeccable professional reputation."

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