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Moscow court orders arrest of Ukraine's former PM, ex-ministers in absentia

by Kateryna Hodunova July 2, 2024 12:58 PM 2 min read
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman attends the Kyiv Security Forum 2021, Kyiv, capital of Ukraine. (Photo credit should read Hennadii Minchenko/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
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A Moscow court on July 2 ordered the arrest in absentia of Ukraine's former Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, former Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, former Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak, and Ihor Dovhan, the head of Western Operational Command of Ukraine's Ground Forces.

All four were charged with the "use of prohibited means and methods of warfare," according to the court statement published on Telegram.

Russia has launched criminal proceedings against a number of Ukrainian officials since the start of the full-scale war on vague charges, often connected to their role in resisting Russian aggression.

Moscow has also put dozens of European politicians on the wanted list, including Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, as well as high-ranking Ukrainian officials, military officers, and alleged "foreign mercenaries" in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, according to Mediazona, a Russian independent media outlet.

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All four Ukrainian officials were sentenced to two months in custody, according to the statements.

Russia's Investigative Committee charged Groysman, Klimkin, and Information Policy Minister Yurii Stets in April 2024. The charges were connected to their role in Ukraine's military response to Russia's invasion of Donbas in 2014.

Later, the Russian Interior Ministry put Groysman on the wanted list, together with former National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov, former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, former Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Ruslan Khomchak, and Vasyl Krutov, a former head of the anti-terrorist unit of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

In May, the Russian Interior Ministry also put Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, former President Petro Poroshenko, Ground Forces commander Oleksandr Pavliuk, and former head of the Defense Ministry Mykhailo Koval on the wanted list.

Russian court sentences Ukrainian lawmaker to 10 years in prison in absentia
The lawmaker was sentenced under the charges of spreading “disinformation about the military on the grounds of political hatred, justifying terrorism, and inciting hatred with the threat of violence,” though the exact reasons for the launch of the proceedings were not disclosed, the outlet wrote.

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