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Kiev puts DPR's Tsemakh on wanted list on terrorism charges

In June, the Netherlands changed the status of Vladimir Tsemakh, who had been previously considered a "person of interest" to a suspect in the investigation into the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine in 2014

KIEV, December 3. /TASS/. The Security Service of Ukraine has put resident of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Vladimir Tsemakh, whom the Dutch authorities consider a suspect in the case of the MH17 flight disaster over the Donetsk Region in 2014, on the wanted list.

According to a report posted on the website of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the Ukrainian authorities suspect Tsemakh of "being part of a terrorist group and committing a terror attack in which people were killed." He is named on the website as a person fleeing from investigation, while September 23 is given as the day of his disappearance.

In June 2019, Ukrainian spy agencies abducted Vladimir Tsemakh, a resident of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and former DPR air defense militia commander, from Snezhnoye (DPR) where he lived.

He was secretly taken to Kiev from across the line of engagement in Donbass and was later among those released on September 7 in accordance with the deal to swap detainees reached by Russia and Ukraine. Tsemakh was brought to Moscow and then left for the DPR.

In June, the Netherlands changed the status of Vladimir Tsemakh, who had been previously considered a "person of interest" to a suspect in the investigation into the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine in 2014.

Tsemakh’s abduction

In June 2019, Ukrainian special services abducted Vladimir Tsemakh, taking him to Kiev. The DPR demanded that its citizen be returned and called on international human rights organizations to intervene. According to DPR head Denis Pushilin, Ukraine kidnapped Tsemakh with the intention of fabricating the circumstances of the 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash. He was released on September 7 in a prisoner swap.

Tsemakh earlier told Rossiya 24 TV that he was exploring the possibility of applying to international courts over the violation of his rights. He also spoke about the dire conditions in the Ukrainian prison. According to the DPR citizen, doctors were not allowed to visit him, and he was interrogated without any lawyers.

What’s more, along with Ukrainian Security Service officers, Dutch and Australian police took part in the interrogations. They tried to exert psychological pressure on him in order to obtain "the evidence they needed" of the DPR militia’s and Russia’s ‘involvement’ in the crash of the Malaysian passenger plane in the skies over Donbass in 2014.

Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said in November that his client Tsemakh was prepared to testify in the case of the MH17 flight disaster to Dutch and Ukrainian investigators. Kucherena also said that he was drafting Tsemakh’s complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in a lawsuit against Ukraine and the Netherlands. He believes Tsemakh can easily win the case.

MH17 flight disaster

A passenger liner Boeing-777 of the Malaysia Airlines (flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur) was shot down over the Donetsk Region of Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The disaster claimed the lives of 298 passengers and crew — citizens of ten countries. Although hostilities were underway on the ground at that time, Kiev failed to close the airspace over the area to international passenger flights. A Joint Investigation Team was created by Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine. Malaysia, whose air carrier owned the ill-fortunate plane, was invited to join in only four months later. All of Russia’s offers of help with the investigation were rejected.

In June 2017, the JIT countries made a decision that the defendants in the case would be tried in a Dutch court and according to Dutch laws. The Dutch prosecutor’s office, which leads the JIT, will present the lawsuit and facts.

At a news conference on May 24, 2018 JIT experts said the air defense launcher that fired the missile which downed the Boeing-777 might have been brought from Russia’s 53rd air defense brigade. Russia dismissed the charges, saying that not a single Russian air defense launcher had ever crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border. The missile mentioned in the JIT report had been delivered to a military unit stationed in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic back in 1986.

In June, the JIT said it had identified four persons suspected of being involved in the MH17 crash. They are three Russian nationals — Igor Girkin, also known under the nickname of Strelkov, Sergei Dubinsky, and Oleg Pulatov — and a Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko. The trial is scheduled to begin on March 9, 2020. The Dutch pubic prosecution says that the situation around Tsemakh does not prevent the trial involving the aforementioned four persons.