Skip to content
Edit post

Finnish court charges Russian neo-Nazi fighter with entering country illegally

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 31, 2024 8:43 AM 2 min read
Members of the neo-Nazi paramilitary unit Rusich walk by the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow, Russia, on March 14, 2023. (STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

A Finnish court charged Yan Petrovsky, a Russian neo-Nazi mercenary who has fought against Ukrainian troops, with illegally entering the country on more than one occasion, the Finnish media outlet YLE reported on Jan. 30.

Petrovsky is a co-leader of Rusich, a Russian neo-Nazi paramilitary unit that has fought against Ukraine. He is accused by Ukraine, and now Finland, of committing war crimes during the Russian invasion of Donbas that started in 2014.

Finnish authorities arrested Petrovsky in July as he tried to fly to France under the name Voislav Torden.

Ukraine requested his extradition so that he could stand trial for the alleged war crimes, but a Finnish court ruled on Dec. 8, 2023, that he could not be forced to go to Ukraine because it said conditions in Ukrainian prisons do not meet standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Ukraine has said that Russian prisoners of war are treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

Petrovsky was released on Dec. 8, but a Finnish court ordered him back into custody three days later. Over the following days, Finnish authorities publicly speculated about the possibility of trying Petrovsky in Finland for his alleged crimes in Ukraine.

He was charged on Jan. 30 with violating the laws for entering Finland, which can carry a sentence of 60 days in prison if found guilty.

Petrovsky's alleged border violations do not preclude him from also being charged for possible war crimes he committed in Ukraine. Such charges must be brought by the end of May at the latest, the court said. The Finnish police said in December 2023 that they had begun a preliminary investigation into the alleged war crimes but have yet to file any charges formally.

If official war crimes charges are announced and a trial proceeds, it would be a novel occurrence, as Petrovsky is not a Finnish citizen, and the alleged crimes did not happen in Finland.

The Rusich unit prides itself on atrocities, publishing photos and videos of the torture and murder of Ukrainian citizens.

Another co-leader of the Rusich unit, Alexei Milchakov, has posed with a swastika flag and called for “killing homeless people, puppies and children.”

Ukraine war latest: Cabinet of Ministers submits updated draft law on mobilization to parliament
Key updates on Jan. 30: * Cabinet of Ministers submits updated draft law on mobilization to parliament * Military intelligence: Russia shows no intent to return bodies of POWs allegedly on crashed Il-76 * Official: Russia launches 5 attacks with chemical weapons on southeastern front lines in pa…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

1:12 PM

FT: Zara fashion retailer to return to Ukraine this year.

The Spanish fashion giant Zara is preparing to reopen its stores in Ukraine following the two-year closure amid Russia's full-scale invasion, according to the Financial Times report on March 1, referring to the company’s statement.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
7:50 AM

Biden, Italian PM Meloni to hold talks amid Ukraine concerns.

U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni at the White House on March 1, amid challenges faced by the Democratic administration in garnering support from House Republicans for legislation aimed at providing assistance to Ukraine.
2:23 AM

France will order 100 drones for Ukraine.

France will order 100 drones from the French company Delair that will arrive in Ukraine this summer, French Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu announced on Feb. 29.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.