Viktor Demchenko, a 71-year-old Ukrainian whom Russia accused of espionage and participation in a terrorist organization, has allegedly died in pretrial detention in Russia’s Rostov region, the Memorial human rights group reported on Feb. 11.
Russia accused several Ukrainians of espionage following the start of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Memorial didn't specify the date when Demchenko died.
Meanwhile, Russian state news agency TASS, citing law enforcement agencies, reported that Demchenko died in a Rostov prison hospital from a stroke on Dec. 31.
Several hundreds of Ukrainian civilians were arrested in Russia on espionage or sabotage charges. Many of them are sent to detention centers and are deprived of access to lawyers.
The fate of many Ukrainian “civilian hostages” remains unknown.