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Prosecutors demand 15-year jail sentence for Russians detained in Ukraine

April 15, 2016, 14:03 UTC+3 KIEV

Kiev claims the two Russians, Alexander Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, who were captured by Ukraine’s forces in mid-May 2015, are Russian servicemen

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Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Aleksandrov

Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Aleksandrov

© Sergei Reznik/TASS

KIEV, April 15. /TASS/. Prosecutors have demanded to sentence two Russian citizens Alexander Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev detained last year in Ukraine to 15 years in prison, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom on Friday.

During the hearing at Kiev’s Goloseyevsky district court, three prosecutors accused the two Russians of "carrying a terrorist act and waging an aggressive war on Ukraine’s territory" and demanded to confiscate their property.

Kiev claims the two Russians, who were captured by Ukraine’s forces in mid-May 2015, are Russian servicemen. However, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Russians "were not active servicemen of Russia’s Armed Forces at the moment of their detention."

Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev are expected to say their last plea later in the day. After that the Ukrainian court will announce the verdict.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said late last month that he was ready to swap the two Russians for convicted Ukrainian ex-pilot Nadezhda Savchenko as soon as their trials were over.

In late March, a court in southern Russia found Savchenko guilty of directing the pro-Kiev forces’ artillery fire in Ukraine's south-east that had killed Russian journalists. The judge also said she illegally crossed the Russian border. Savchenko denied any wrongdoing and didn’t recognize the Russian court’s verdict.

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