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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 631
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Trial of Two GRU Soldiers Captured in Ukraine Begins in Kiev; Judge Rejects Appeal to Call Them POWs
7 years
4 Ukrainian Soldiers Wounded With Fighting Reported This Afternoon In Donetsk
Ukrainian Parliament Schedules Elections in Mariupol and Krasnoarmeysk for November 29

Two GRU soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces earlier this year in Schastye went on trial today in Kiev today, charged with "terrorism," Moscow News reported:

The two Russians captured in eastern Ukraine earlier this year, went on trial in Kiev on Tuesday and denied all allegations against them, claiming they are 'unemployed' and contradicting their earlier claims of serving on active duty with Russian special forces.

Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev previously described themselves as fighters on a military mission to aid separatists fighting Ukrainian government forces in the Donbass region.

The two men face charges including terrorist assault on Ukrainian armed forces, which led to deaths of military personnel, illegal entry to the occupied territories, and illegal possession of weapons. Both face penalties up to life imprisonment.

In an interview with Novaya Gazeta's Pavel Kanygin translated by The Interpreter, Aleksandrov had admitted he was on active duty as a contract soldier; now he is denying this.

Evidence was gathered to show the soldiers were deployed to fight along fighters from the self-declared "Lugansk People's Republic" while serving in the Russian armed forces.

Now the Defense Ministry claims they were not on active duty, but they had resigned from regular duty to become contract soldiers, according to their previous testimony. Russia does not acknowledge that its forces are fighting in Ukraine.

The judge dismissed the lawyers' appeal to have the men categorized as prisoners of war.

Both men were hospitalized due to injuries sustained in battle.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick