Court in Moscow to consider case of Russian who fought in Donbas in Azov battalion

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MOSCOW – Moscow’s Babushkinsky Court will consider on Nov. 14 in absentia a criminal case against Russian citizen Roman Zheleznov, who is accused of participating as a “mercenary” in the military operations of the Ukrainian Azov battalion.

Due to the fact that Zheleznov is in Ukraine, the trial of him will be held in absentia.

As expected, at the first court session, prosecutors will announce the indictment and the court will determine the procedure for examining the evidence in the case.

Earlier, Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko reported that Zheleznov was charged under Part 3, Article 359 of the Russian Criminal Code (participation of a mercenary in an armed conflict).

According to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, “the competent authorities of Ukraine refused to extradite the criminal to the Russian Federation.”

According to investigators, in the spring of 2014, Zheleznov arrived in Ukraine and voluntarily joined the Azov battalion supported by the Ukrainian government.

“Between 2014 and 2016, the Russian, together with other fighters of the said unit, took part in hostilities in the territory of the southeast of Ukraine,” Petrenko said.

The Investigative Committee recalled that this was not the first Russian from the Azov battalion, who was brought to criminal responsibility for taking part in hostilities in Ukraine. In 2017, a criminal case was sent to the court on similar charges against Artem Shirobokov, who, in June was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison.

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