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Russia could return Karpyuk and Klykh to Ukraine

Some Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia could return home
12:20, 21 August 2019

Ukrainian political prisoners Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh
Radio Liberty

The lawyer of Ukrainian political prisoner Mykola Karpyuk – Aleksey Baranovsky said Tuesday that his client disappeared from the Vladimir Central prison in Russia. Another Ukrainian prisoner, Volodymyr Balukh was taken away from Torzhok colony of in Tver region. Baranovsky wrote that such a simultaneous “removal” of prisoners from the places of punishment “sparks restrained optimism.”

Baranovsky supposed that some Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia could return to Ukraine soon.

Later, Russian journalist Victoria Ivleva reported on Facebook that Moscow Lefortovo prison kept Ukrainian political prisoners: Mykola Karpyuk, Volodymyr Balukh, Stanislav Klykh, Oleksandr Kolchenko and Pavlo Gryb.

Mykola Karpyuk has been in most of the major public events in the country since 1991. He was a participant in all more or less significant events that influenced the growth of Ukraine and its national consciousness. Now Karpyuk is in prison in the Russian Federation for the sixth year already. He recently celebrated his 55th birthday behind bars. The Ukrainian was detained in March 2014 when going to Russia. The purpose of the trip was negotiations with the entourage of Russian President Vladimir Putin over the possible cancelation of the Crimean referendum, which eventually became the basis for the annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation.

Stanislav Klykh became a defendant in the same case as Mykola Karpyuk. Russia accused Karpyuk of commanding the Viking detachment in the Chechen war, and Klykh was a fighter of the same unit of Ukrainian nationalists.

Russian investigators assured the court that a detachment of Karpyuk and Klykh in December 1994 - January 1995 allegedly fought with the Russian military in Grozny on the territory of the presidential palace, as well as on Minutka Square and the railway station. During the fighting, according to the case allegations, Karpyuk and Klykh “killed at least 30 military personnel and caused at least 13 military personnel injuries of different severity.” Another episode is the alleged defendants’ participation in the second Chechen war.

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