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Russians detained in eastern Ukraine charged with terrorism — Ukraine’s Security Service

May 20, 2015, 15:41 UTC+3 KIEV

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the two Russians were not on active service in the Russian Armed Forces at the time of their detention

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Reporters look at the TV screen showing Alexander Alexandrov

Reporters look at the TV screen showing Alexander Alexandrov

© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

KIEV, May 20. /TASS/. Two Russians taken prisoner near the city of Schastye in east Ukraine's Luhansk Region have been charged with terrorism, adviser to the Security Service of Ukraine Markian Lubkovsky wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

"Investigators have charged detainees Yerofeyev and Alexandrov with committing crimes under Article 258-3 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code for involvement in terrorist activities," Lubkovsky said.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, "Russian nationals Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev captured by Ukraine’s Security Service in the Luhansk Region at the time of their detention on May 17 were not on active service in the Russian Armed Forces." He added that the leadership of the Association of Veterans of Special Operations Forces had urged the Russian Defense Ministry to contact Ukraine’s General Staff through official channels to put an end to tortures of their wounded comrades by Security Service officers aimed at securing expected confessions.

He recalled that "during the civil war in south-eastern Ukraine dozens and even hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen and members of the so-called ‘territorial’ battalions had been repeatedly detained on Russia’s territory. Konashenkov noted that "the attitude towards them was fully in line with international norms and that after rendering the necessary assistance to them, all of them were able to freely return to their families and relatives within a short time." "We reckon on the prudence of the Ukrainian leadership and the speedy release of Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev," he said.

Head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) Igor Plotnitsky earlier said that the captured Russians were LPR People’s Militia fighters. According to Plotnitsky, they were subjected to torture, while in captivity.

"If you watch the video provided by Ukraine, you will see that before he was taken prisoner, Yerofeyev was wounded in one shoulder, and after he was shown on television, a bullet was sent through his second shoulder. I am quite sure that, unfortunately, these soldiers have been subjected to torture," the LuganskInformTsentr news agency quotes Plotnitsky as saying.

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