Russia’s Supreme Courtroom declared Ukraine’s Azov Regiment a “terrorist” group Tuesday, paving the way in which for the unit’s captured fighters to be tried in Russian courts and probably face lenghty jail phrases.
Moscow has repeatedly decried the Azov battalion for its previous extremist right-wing hyperlinks, utilizing it to justify its invasion of Ukraine that the Kremlin calls its “denazification” of Kyiv this 12 months. The battalion shaped in 2014 as a far-right volunteer paramilitary unit preventing in opposition to pro-Moscow separatists in jap Ukraine, however was later reformed and built-in into Ukraine’s nationwide guard.
The Russian Supreme Courtroom handed down the ruling declaring the Azov battalion a terrorist group in a closed session, state-run information companies reported.
It was the courtroom’s third try to declare the regiment “terrorist” after earlier hearings had been postponed in Could and June.
The choice may pave the way in which for Azov Regiment members held in Russia to be tried as terrorists.
Russia’s Felony Code punishes these discovered responsible of organizing terrorist exercise with life in jail and contributors with 10-20 years in jail.
Round 2,500 Ukrainian defenders of the port metropolis of Mariupol, together with members of the Azov Regiment, surrendered in Could to besieging Russian forces after holding out on the metropolis’s Azovstal metal works for weeks.
Round 1,000 of the surrendered fighters have reportedly been transferred to Russia. The others are held by Moscow-backed separatists in jap Ukraine, the place authorities threaten to condemn them to loss of life.
Kyiv has vowed to return the Mariupol defenders house via a prisoner swap and says prosecuting the troopers could be in breach of the Geneva conventions.
Russia’s Embassy in Britain referred to as over the weekend for Azov Regiment fighters to face a “humiliating” execution by hanging, drawing outrage from Kyiv.
The diplomatic mission’s tweet got here as Moscow and Kyiv traded blame over a strike on a jail on Russian-held territory that killed round 50 Ukrainian prisoners of struggle, together with members of the Azov Regiment.
Regardless of Russia’s threats, dozens of Azov Regiment fighters had been included in a prisoner alternate in late June.