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Moscow court prolongs arrest for four out of 24 Ukrainian sailors until July 24

The sailors were detained in November last year for breaching the Russian border in the Kerch Strait

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Moscow’s Lefortovsky Court prolonged detention term for three months for four out of 24 Ukrainian sailors who were detained in November last year for breaching the Russian border in the Kerch Strait, TASS reported from the courtroom.

"The court prolongs the detention term for defendants Roman Mokryak, Yevgeny Semidotsky, Andrei Oprysko and Sergei Tsybizov for three months, until July 24, 2019," judge Sergei Ryabtsev announced the verdict. The court satisfied the prosecutor’s motion and held a closed session.

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova also came to Lefortovsky Court. "The main goal is support," she said.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) filed a motion to the court to prolong the detention term to all the detained Ukrainian sailors for three months. The investigation term was set until August 25. The district court will study on Wednesday the investigators’ motion to prolong the pre-trial restriction measure for 20 more defendants.

On November 25, three Ukrainian naval ships breached the Russian state border in the Kerch Strait. The Ukrainian ships did not respond to the legitimate demands coming from the vessels of the Border Service of the Russian Security Service (FSB) and the Black Sea Fleet that had pursued them in order to stop them immediately and thwart their dangerous maneuvers. Because of their blatant refusal to submit to the order, gunfire had to be used to stop the intruding Ukrainian ships. The ships were detained and taken to Kerch, and a criminal case was launched over the state border violation.

The crew members - 24 Ukrainian citizens - were arrested. They were taken from Simferopol to a Moscow detention center. They are charged under Part 3 Section 322 of the Russian Criminal Code ("The illegal border crossing").