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Detention of Crimean residents shows that crossing Ukrainian border is unsafe — lawmaker

April 25, 2018, 7:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Yelena Odnovol was taken into custody by the Ukrainian authorities on Monday and was later charged with high treason

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MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. The detention of Crimean resident Yelena Odnovol, an activist of the Victory Volunteers All-Russia Public Organization, shows that crossing the Ukrainian border is unsafe, Russian lawmaker Natalya Poklonskaya said.

"What is the Kiev propaganda purpose for all this? Maybe to fuel anti-Russian hysteria and report about it to their Western masters in the hope that they throw them another financial bone?" Poklonskaya, a former prosecutor of Crimea, wrote on her VKontakte page. "Or, maybe, to demonstrate the whole world that crossing the Ukrainian border is a very, very unsafe undertaking for any person whom the current Ukrainian government may view as a useful object for bargaining or a tool for attaining their political goals."

She also asked European human rights organizations why they were turning a blind eye to the Ukrainian government, which thinks that taking people hostage is admissible.

Odnovol was taken into custody by the Ukrainian authorities at the Chongar checkpoint last Monday and was later charged with high treason. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko said that the woman is suspected of "subversive activities" and damaging Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, because she arranged and took part in the collection of voter signatures in support of Vladimir Putin’s presidential nomination in Crimea.

Later, Ukrainian prosecutors announced she entered the country with the Ukrainian passport, issued in 2017. The Russian embassy in Ukraine said it had not been notified of the detention. Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov recommended the republic’s residents to avoid visiting Ukraine.

On March 25, Ukraine’s State Border Service detained the Nord fishing vessel with a crew of ten Russian citizens in the Sea of Azov. The vessel’s captain, Vladimir Gorbenko, was charged under the Ukrainian Criminal Code’s article on "violating the entry and exit rules to Ukraine’s occupied territory" and may face up to five years in prison if found guilty, while the ship may be confiscated. He was later released on bail and stays in Ukraine. Other crew members were sentenced to fines, but some of them were unable to leave the country.

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