Convicted in Russia Ukrainians Yuriy Soloshenko and Gennadiy Afanasyev, who were detained for almost 2 years, may return to their homeland. Details of exchange are not disclosed, but from different sources there is an information that today they will arrive in Kyiv. According to unofficial data, in the afternoon Soloshenko and Afanasyev will be delivered to the capital by Ukrainian Defense Ministry aircraft.
The Security Service of Ukraine previously confirmed the possible exchange Soloshenko and Afanasyev by the figurants of the "case of May 2" in Odessa, their names have not yet reported.
In view of a possible exchange we gathered information about the 74-year-old Soloshenko and 25-year-old Afanasyev.
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Soloshenko was born on May 6, 1942 in Poltava region. He graduated from the Kharkiv National University and started his career as an engineer at a defense plant. Later he became CEO of the Poltava 'Znamia' factory.
It was the largest factory in Poltava. The plant produced components for anti-aircraft missile systems and radar air defense complexes "Osa", "Buk", "Thor", "Tunguska".
Soloshenko retired in 2010, and two years later the plant was declared a bankrupt. His son Vladyslav in an interview, said that after the plant stopped its activities in the warehouses were a lot of equipment to sell to the Russian Federation.
"We expect positive news about Savchenko, Soloshenko and Afanasiev" - Gerashchenko
Soloshenko in August 2014 went to Moscow, where he was detained. His son said that this was a business trip at the invitation of former colleagues. However, on arrival at the meeting place, 74-year-old Soloshenko was detained by Russian Security Service employees. He was accused of espionage. According to the Federal Security Service, he was detained "when trying to illegaly purchase the secret components for anti-aircraft missile systems S-300." For a long time it was not allowed for Ukrainian consul to visit Soloshenko.
After his arrest, he was in a Moscow pretrial detention center "Lefortovo". In October 2015 the Moscow City Court sentenced him to 6 years in colony, finding him guilty of espionage. Later he was transferred to Nizhniy Novgorod colony.
Soloshenko's lawyer Mark Feygin said that the ex-director of the plant did not submit an appeal against the sentence and admitted his guilt in order to be send to serve his sentence in Ukraine, but he was deceived and sent to serve his sentence in Nizhniy Novgorod.
In March 2016, human rights activists reported that Soloshenko diagnosed with cancer, and he is in the hospital. In April it was reported that Russia may release Soloshenko and several other political prisoners, and they were suddenly transported to Moscow.
In late May, Afanasyev and Soloshenko convicted in Russia, wrote a petition for clemency to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko later said that they will probably be released in June.
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Afanasyev was born on November 8, 1990 in Simferopol. In 2012, he graduated from the Tauride National University, faculty of Law. He is interested in photography, he worked for some time in Prosecutor's Office in Simferopol's district.
During the annexation of Crimea, he actively supported the movement for a united Ukraine, took part in the protests. Before the so-called referendum in Crimea, he participated in the recording of videos in support of Ukraine, in particular, read a poem of Vasyl Symonenko "Where are you now, the torturers of my nation?".
Afanasiev was detained in Simferopol in May 2014, even before the arrest of Oleg Sentsov. As well as Sentsov, Alexey Chirhiy and Alexander Kolchenko, Russian Federation Court accused Afanasiev in that he allegedly planned to blow up a statue of Lenin and the Memorial of Eternal Flame.
In December 2014 the Moscow City Court sentenced Afanasyev to 7 years in colony. His case had been initially allocated in a separate proceeding, and he agreed to make a deal with the investigation, but later told about torture and that he was forced to slander other people involved in the case. His lawyer said that Afanasyev was beaten, tortured, threatened and abused. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called on the international community to condemn the use of torture against him.
Later, he was diagnosed with an infection in the blood. The lawyer said that Gennadiy repeatedly written about these, he was taken out to the hospital, but did not receive any treatment.
Until recently he was in the penal colony of Russia in the Republic of Komi in the city of Mikun. In May together with Soloshenko he was transferred to Moscow. Afanasyev also wrote a petition for clemency to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin.