Russia sentences Ukrainian to eight years in Crimean ‘saboteurs’ case

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Russia has sentenced a Ukrainian accused of preparing terrorist attacks in occupied Crimea to eight years in prison.

The Kremlin-installed Supreme Court of Crimea found Yevhen Panov guilty of both preparing attacks in Crimea and of smuggling and storing explosives in April. The court issued its sentence on July 13, Krym Realii reported from the courtroom.

Panov was one of two individuals detained by the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, in Crimea in August 2016 for allegedly preparing terror attacks against tourism sites and infrastructure in the region.

The pair’s arrest and subsequent trial became known as the “Ukrainian saboteurs” case.

In February, the Crimean court sentenced the other alleged “saboteur,” Andriy Zakhtei, to six years and six months in prison and a fine of 105,000 rubles ($3,530) after he signed a plea agreement with investigators, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

According to his lawyer, Dmitry Dinze, Panov has called the investigators’ conclusions in his case “fantasies.” In April, he refused to reach a plea bargain with the investigators.

The Ukrainian government has called the charges against Panov and Zakhtei a “provocation” by the FSB.

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