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Kiev court to hear defense testimony into case of Russians detained in Donbas on Jan. 27

January 22, 14:30 UTC+3 KIEV
Russians Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev were captured by Ukraine’s forces on May 16 in the Luhansk region, in eastern Ukraine
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Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov

Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov

© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

KIEV, January 22. /TASS/. Kiev’s Goloseevsky district court will resume hearings into the case of Russian nationals Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, arrested in Ukraine, at 11:30am on January 27, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene on Friday.

"The session will go on a break until the scheduled date of 10:30am (local time) on January 27," Judge Nikolay Didyk said.

The court has heard today evidence provided by prosecutors and questioning of Tatyana Pugacheva, the mother of Ukrainian fighter Vadim Pugachev who died in the battle during which the Russian nationals were allegedly detained.

The court will hear defense testimony on January 27.

Russians Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev were captured by Ukraine’s forces on May 16 in the Luhansk region, in eastern Ukraine. After the detention, the Russians underwent serious surgery that demands long-time recovery and systematic medical supervision.

Kiev claims the detainees allegedly were Russian servicemen. Russia’s Defense Ministry later said the Russians "were not active servicemen of Russia’s Armed Forces at the moment when they were detained on May 17."

The court of Kiev’s Shevchenkovsky district arrested Alexandrov and Yerofeyev on May 22. The appeal court of Kiev on June 10 upheld the arrest of Russians, backing the decision of the first instance court. Kiev’s Goloseevsky court prolonged the two men detention till February 20.

Alexandrov and Yerofeyev are suspected of illegal crossing of the border, illegal weapons possession and participation in a terrorist organization. They face life in prison if found guilty.

Alexandrov and Yerofeyev claim they are not guilty on any of the charges. Their lawyers say that the two men should be considered prisoners of war as they both served as militiamen in the people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) when they were detained. Lawyers say the process should be organized in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

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