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Azov crisis: "Special cell mates" settled next to Ukrainian POWs

It was noted that all the Ukrainian sailors stated that they are protected by the Convention, as they are considered POWs
10:15, 5 March 2019

Captured Ukrainian sailor in Moscow, December 2018
Tass.ru

“Special cell mates” are being settled next to the Ukrainian POWs, captured by Russian special service agents in the Kerch Strait, so as to put psychological pressure on them, as the lawyer Nikolai Polozov reported on Facebook.

“From the very first day, the POWs were subjected to severe psychological pressure. Each of them was involved on a “conversation” to get a guilty plea or testimony about them or their comrades. “Special” cell mates were settled near some of them,” the message says.

Related: Russia blatantly blocks attempts to release Ukrainian POWs till elections, - Vice Prime Minister

Besides, the lawyer noted that the lawyers are creating a new documents package required for filing individual complaints to the international establishments, including the European Court of Human Rights.

“The lawyers meet the POWs a couple of times per month (despite the restrictions related to the operation of Lefortovo prison), they provided legal and psychological support. They also keep in contact with the relatives and pass all necessary information,” the message says.

Related: Kremlin bans family visits for Ukrainian POWs, - lawyer

On November 25, 2018, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.

All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow; 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, the rest ended up at the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

Related: Moscow court upholds decision to keep four Ukrainian POWs in custody till April

On December 3, 2018, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.

Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019, Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.

Related: Azov crisis: Russia opens probe against Ukrainian law enforcers

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