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Media: Russia sentences Ukrainian soldiers to over 20 years in prison

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 16, 2023 11:39 PM 2 min read
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A Russian-controlled court in occupied Donetsk Oblast sentenced three Ukrainian soldiers to more than 20 years in prison, media outlet Hromadske reported on Aug. 16, citing the Russian military prosecutor's office.

Two soldiers from the Azov regiment, Pavlo Artemenko and Anton Romaniuk, were sentenced to 24 years in prison for allegedly shelling residential buildings as they retreated from the area around now Russian-occupied Mariupol.

The city was nearly destroyed by Russia's brutal months-long siege at the start of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to social media, Artemenko comes from Sarny in Rivne Oblast and served with Azov for three years prior to his capture by Russian forces. Romaniuk is from Manevychi in Volyn Oblast.

Hromadske reported that another soldier from Ukraine's Territorial Defense Force was sentenced to 21 years in prison after the Russian proxy court claimed he killed a civilian.

In June, more than 20 Ukrainian soldiers taken as prisoners of war were put on trial in a southern Russian court on June 15.

Azov Regiment soldiers were some of the last Ukrainian forces to remain in the besieged port city of Mariupol before surrendering to Russia in May 2022 at the Azovstal steel plant.

Azovstal became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance at the onset of the full-scale Russian invasion, as Ukrainian soldiers continued to defend the plant despite being outmatched in firepower.

On July 8th, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the commanding officers who defended Azovstal will return from Turkey, where they had been kept after a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia.

AP: Captured Ukrainian soldiers face trial in Russia
More than 20 Ukrainian soldiers taken as prisoners of war went on trial in a southern Russian court on June 15, the Associated Press reported, adding that the soldiers are members of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment.

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