A Donetsk resident was charged with treason over voluntarily fighting for Russian forces, namely in Mariupol and Volnovakha in Donetsk Oblast, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Dec. 14.
Russia has occupied part of Donetsk Oblast since 2014. While some residents of occupied territories have willingly collaborated with Russia, Moscow has also reportedly coerced locals into their ranks.
According to the SBU, the man voluntarily joined a motorized rifle regiment of Russia's Southern Military District at the start of the full-scale invasion.
He was appointed to the position of a machine gunner and took part in the Russian conquests of Mariupol and Volnovakha, the SBU said. After these battles, he was allegedly awarded a medal for combat merit.
The suspect was later transferred to Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where his unit was tasked with holding off Ukraine's counteroffensive, according to the security service.
Ukrainian forces captured the man in late November during engagements in the Melitopol direction, the SBU said.
He is currently in custody and faces life in prison.
Three residents of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts were sentenced to prison sentences last week over fighting in Russian ranks.