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Ukrainian ombudsman has no plans to visit detained Russian servicemen

December 01, 2016, 18:00 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukraine’s Security Service accused them of desertion and state treason
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KIEV, December 1 /TASS/. Valeria Lutkovskaya, the Ukrainian Rada’s Human Rights Ombudsman, is unlikely to visit the Russians detained on the border with Crimea personally, Lutkovskaya’s representative Mikhail Chaplyga told TASS on Thursday.

"Valeria Lutkovskaya has not visited them. Why should she visit them personally? We have representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism (against torture) who work there," Chaplyga noted adding he saw no sense in Lutkovskaya’s visit. He also said that the Kiev government considered the suspects to be citizens of Ukraine who committed a standard crime. "The National Preventive Mechanism (NOM) representatives had no problems to visit them on the very first day following their arrest," Chaplyga clarified. He said that the Russians had complained of bodily harm, including a split lip, inflicted during the detention.

At the same time, Chaplyga said that the servicemen had no complaints about their confinement conditions in custody or the furnishing of legal assistance. "There are no problems with observance of procedural rules usually applied in penitentiaries - the suspects have the right to defense and medical assistance," Lutkovskaya’s representative said. "We have sent our reply to Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova," Chaplyga added.

The suspects are currently in custody in a pre-trial detention center in the Ukrainian city of Nikolayev. They will stay there until January 17, 2017 in compliance with a decision of the Nikolayev Central City Court handed down on November 22.

Earlier on Thursday, Russia’s Human Rights Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova asked her Ukrainian counterpart Valeriya Lutkovskaya for establishing the whereabouts of the two Russian servicemen abducted by Ukraine’s special services in Crimea and sought assistance in releasing them.

"I have prepared a request to Lutkovskaya, the human rights ombudsman of the Ukrainian Rada, asking her to visit our servicemen and facilitate their release as soon as possible," Moskalkova told reporters.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said late on Monday that Ukraine’s Security Service had illegally detained Russian contract servicemen in Crimea at about 13:00 Moscow time (10:00 GMT) on November 20 and took them to Ukraine’s Nikolayev Region.

The ministry said further that according to available data, the Ukrainian special services were attempting to concoct a criminal case against Alexander Baranov and Maxim Odintsov for allegedly committing crimes against Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry did not rule out that psychological and physical pressure could be exerted on the Russian servicemen to extract a confession.

This information was confirmed earlier on Tuesday by a representative of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. "Officers of the Ukrainian Security Service used proxies to entice warrant officer Maxim Odintsov and contract service junior sergeant Alexander Baranov into the Dzhankoi checkpoint allegedly for giving them attested documents confirming their education at Ukraine’s institutions of high learning," the fleet’s representative said.

Odintsov and Baranov left Russia shortly. Representatives of Ukraine’s Security Service detained the servicemen later and brought them to Ukraine’s Nikolayev Region.

Ukraine’s Security Service accused them of desertion and state treason.

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