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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Ukraine convicts two captured Russian servicemen of terrorism

Yevgeny Yerofeyev (L) and Alexander Alexandrov, Russian servicemen arrested last May on terrorism charges related to the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, looks from a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Kiev. Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko
Yevgeny Yerofeyev (L) and Alexander Alexandrov, Russian servicemen arrested last May on terrorism charges related to the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, looks from a glass-walled cage during a court hearing in Kiev. Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

A Ukrainian court has convicted two Russian servicemen captured last year of terrorism and waging a war in eastern Ukraine.

Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev have acknowledged being Russian servicemen and said they were on a reconnaissance mission. Russia's defence ministry, however, said they had resigned from active duty.

Russia has denied sending troops to Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists have been fighting government troops since April 2014. At least 8,100 people have been killed in the conflict.

The court in Kiev found Alexandrov and Yerofeyev guilty of terrorism and "waging a war of aggression".

Alexandrov and Yerofeyev have been named as possible candidates to be exchanged for Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who was sentenced last month to 22 years in prison in Russia.

Press Association

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