Fifteen of the 24 captured Ukrainian sailors who stay in Russian detention stated that they considered themselves prisoners of war. Hromadske news agency reported that on Friday morning, quoting lawyer Sergey Badamshin.
'They demand to be treated further according to Geneva Conventions', he stressed.
The lawyer added that the so-called 'court' in the occupied Crimea has been considering the appeals of Ukrainian servicemen about the illegal arrests for two days in a row.
'The 'court' declines all complaints. One has to understand that the 'court' will not show here any humanity or independence', Badamshin said.
The lawyer admitted that the next extension of the arrest wil follow soon enough, perhaps in late January, and the Ukrainian sailors will remain in detention for another three months.
'There's no legal grounds for keeping them', he claimed.
Badamshin added that three wounded seamen, Vasyl Soroka, Andriy Eider and Andriy Artemenko are still at the prison hospital in Matrosskaya Tishina, but they are to be transferred to Lefortovo (both prisons are located in Moscow, - 112 International). 'The conditions are much togher there, there's no way to talk to them. And, of course, the main task is to isolate the sailors and do not let them talk to the defense', he concluded.
As we reported earlier, the Russian Navy attacked the Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov. The vessels were damaged, and the crews captured by the Russian special services. Ukraine and the Western governments consider the attack an act of aggression. The Ukrainian sailors were taken to a remand center in Crimea, and then in Moscow, charged with the 'illegal crossing of the Russian territorial waters'. All sailors deny their guilt, claiming they are prisoners of war.