A Ukrainian court sentenced four Ukrainians charged with fighting together with Russian-led militants against Ukraine to 12 and 15 years in prison, the Prosecutor General's Office said on Dec. 21.
Russia has occupied part of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts since 2014. While some residents of occupied territories have willingly collaborated with Russia, Moscow has also reportedly coerced locals into their ranks.
The four men fought against Ukrainian troops in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and one served Russia in occupied Crimea. Prosecutors found evidence that they had directly fired at Ukrainian forces, and they were convicted of treason and participation in a terrorist organization.
One of the men had served with Russian proxy forces since the beginning of the war in Donbas in 2014.
The prosecutor's office did not specify which men were sentenced to 12 or 15 years.
Ukrainian authorities detained the four men in Pokrovsk and Bakhmut districts of Donetsk Oblast in November 2023.