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Prosecutor's Office: Ukraine to extradite suspected Russian terrorist detained in Finland

by Abbey Fenbert August 26, 2023 5:59 AM 2 min read
Members of the neo-Nazi paramilitary unit Rusich walk by the Lenin Mausoleum. (Photo by STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Ukraine is preparing to extradite a leader of the Russian far-right paramilitary group Rusich, the Prosecutor General's Office announced on Aug. 25.

Yan Petrovsky, a Russian-Norwegian nationalist and Rusich co-leader, was arrested in Finland on Aug. 23. He had been wanted for terrorism by Ukraine's Security Service (SBU).

The SBU's investigation found that Petrovsky collaborated with members of the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR), 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.

In 2016, Ukraine served Petrovsky a notice that he was suspected of participating in a terrorist organization.

In August, Finland's Migration Service informed the Prosecutor General's Office that Petrovsky had been detained in Helsinki.

"In order to prevent the suspect's return to the Russian Federation, which would make it impossible to extradite him to Ukraine...prosecutors sent a request to the relevant Finnish authorities for the detention and temporary arrest of the person," the Prosecutor General's Office said.

The Prosecutor General's Office is currently preparing necessary extradition materials in cooperation with the Luhansk Regional Prosecutor's Office.

Rusich is a far-right, neo-Nazi paramilitary unit affiliated with the Wagner Group. Their insignia is a Slavic swastika, the kolovrat, which members have carved into the bodies of killed and captured Ukrainian soldiers.

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

In 2022, the U.S. sanctioned Petrovsky and Rusich founder Alexey Milchakov for "special cruelty" in Kharkiv Oblast. Petrovsky assumed command of Rusich that same year after Milchakov was injured.

Milchakov first gained notoriety for publishing images of himself killing a puppy on social media.

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