A Finnish court ruled that Yan Petrovsky, a Russian-Norwegian national also known as Voislav Torden, cannot be extradited to Ukraine to stand trial because conditions in Ukrainian prisons do not meet standards set by the European Convention on Human Rights, the Finnish newspaper Helsingen Sanomat reported on Dec. 8.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) found that Petrovsky collaborated with members of the Russian-installed proxy government in occupied Luhansk Oblast and the Rusich "sabotage assault reconnaissance group" to aid the Russian invasion of Ukraine starting in 2014.
Petrovsky is also a co-leader of Rusich, a far-right, Russian neo-Nazi paramilitary unit affiliated with the Wagner Group.
He was arrested in Finland in July as he tried to fly to France under the name Voislav Torden.
In addition to ruling that Petrovsky cannot be extradited to Ukraine, the Finnish court also said there is no longer any reason to keep him in prison in the Finnish city of Vantaa, and ordered him to be released to the Finnish border guard.
Helsingen Sanomat reported later on Dec. 8 that he had left the prison in the custody of the border guard. It is unclear where Petrovsky will go, as he has had his Finnish residence permit revoked and is ordered to be deported from the country. He has also been banned from entering the entire Schengen zone.
The Ukrainian extradition request was issued to prevent Petrovsky from returning to Russia, where he would likely be out of the reach of Ukrainian law enforcement, but the Finnish court said that it could not guarantee he would be treated appropriately in a Ukrainian prison.
Ukraine has said that Russian prisoners of war are treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Ukrainian courts have also issued prison sentences for both Ukrainian and Russian nationals for their role in war crimes.