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Kremlin bans family visits for Ukrainian POWs, - lawyer

According to the lawyer Mykola Polozov, the Kremlin has not expressed any position concerning the release of the POWs
13:05, 20 February 2019

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Russian authorities continue banning the Ukrainian sailors, kept in Lefortovo prison, to meet with their relatives, as the lawyer Mykola Polozov said on air of 112 Ukraine.

“We see the Kremlin’s consistent position on a ban on family visits, and refusal to communicate with the officials, including Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova,” the lawyer noted.

According to him, the representatives of the POWs’ defence are allowed to visit them on schedule.

“Speaking of the negotiations, the Kremlin has not expressed any position concerning the release of the POWs,” Polozov added.

Related: Four Ukrainian sailors claim to be POWs again, - lawyer

Earlier, the lawyer stated that Russia’s authorities put psychological pressure on the Ukrainian sailors and demand that they sign a deal with the prosecution.

On November 25, 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, another - to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

Related: Three wounded Ukrainian sailors to be sent for examination in hospital, - ombudswoman

On December 3, 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: Russia closes area in Azov Sea near Kerch Strait for holding firing practice

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