Unknown Number Of Captured Ukrainian Sailors Transferred To Moscow, Say Lawyers
November 29, 2018
An unknown number of 24 sailors from three Ukrainian naval vessels captured by Russia in the Sea of Azov last weekend have been transferred to a detention center in Moscow, one of their lawyers says.
Dzhemil Temishev wrote on Facebook on November 29 that his "colleagues" in the Lefortovo detention center in Moscow had informed him that some of the Ukrainian sailors had been brought there.
"They are being taken to Moscow's Lefortovo prison," Temishev said.
Emine Avamilyeva, another lawyer defending the sailors, said the Ukrainians were "taken by plane" to Moscow.
The lawyers could not say if all or only some of the sailors were being transferred.
There was no reaction from Russian authorities.
Well-known Crimean activist Nariman Dzhelyal told RFE/RL earlier on November 29 that wounded Ukrainian sailors who were seized on November 25 by Russian forces off the coast of the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula, had been transferred from the city of Kerch to the Crimean capital, Simferopol.
Russia's TASS news agency reported the same day that three Ukrainian officers wounded in the incident had been released from hospital in Kerch.
Earlier this week, a court in Russia-controlled Simferopol ordered 15 of the captured sailors to be held in pretrial detention for two months despite international calls for their release.
The Ukraine-controlled Prosecutor's Office of Crimea called the captured Ukrainian sailors prisoners of war.
Kyiv said that on November 25, Russian forces opened fire on a group of its ships near Crimea, striking two warships and wounding six crew members before seizing the vessels along with a Ukrainian Navy tugboat.
With reporting by the Crimean Desk of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, TASS and AFP
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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