LUGANSK, May 27. /TASS/. The Prosecutor-General's Office of the Lugansk People's Republic has launched criminal proceedings against blogger Roman Protasevich, detained in Belarus, over his participation in hostilities in Donbass, according to a press release uploaded on the PGO website.
"The investigative department for crimes involving outlawed means and methods of warfare has opened a criminal case against a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, Roman Protasevich, born on May 5, 1995, over his participation in an organization that in accordance with the legislation of the Lugansk People's Republic has been recognized as a terrorist, the use of means and methods in an armed conflict that are prohibited by international treaties, and weapons of mass destruction, prohibited by international treaties, as well as acts of genocide," the news release runs.
The investigators found that in the summer of 2014 Protasevich voluntarily joined the Azov battalion, outlawed in the Lugansk People's Republic. From the summer of 2014 to the winter of 2015, Protasevich "together with other unidentified persons" participated in combat operations of the Azov battalion in the territory of Donbass, the LPR Prosecutor-General's Office said.
Protasevich is accused of several serious crimes, such as the bombardment of communities in the Donetsk People's Republic, causing civilian casualties and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
Protasevich is a co-founder of the Nexta Telegram channel, recognized as extremist in Belarus. He was on the Ryanair plane that on May 23 made an emergency landing at Minsk airport following a bomb threat. Specialists searched the plane on the ground and found no bomb. The Belarusian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over a deliberately false bomb threat. Protasevich is currently being detained in Minsk.