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Mariupol likely scene for first war crimes tribunal for prisoners-of-war — DPR

Denis Pushilin noted that the exact dates would be defined by the investigative bodies

YELENOVKA /DPR/, August 10. /TASS/. The first military tribunal for prisoners of war in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is likely to be held in Mariupol and will be organized by the end of summer, DPR Head Denis Pushilin told journalists on Wednesday.

"We are in the active stage of preparations for the war crimes tribunal. The first tribunal is most likely to be held in Mariupol. It will be organized by the end of summer," he said.

"The exact dates will be defined by our investigative bodies. Our task is to organize the most transparent military tribunal," Pushilin noted.

He added that an ample evidence base, the presence of international activists and global mass media representatives are necessary to organize the most transparent tribunal.

Pushilin stated earlier that Ukrainian nationalists would stand before the military tribunal adding that the tribunal may have the status of the international level. The DPR also announced earlier that active preparations were underway to draft the required documents, including the Charter.

The Mariupol tribunal will be one of the first ones, it will also look into crimes committed in the city of Volnovakha. Members of nationalist battalions such as Azov (outlawed in Russia) and Aidar, as well as Ukrainian service members, are expected to be brought before the tribunal.

Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine

The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military in recent months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.

Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.

The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.