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Ukraine's “Yany Kapu” commander, detained during Azov crisis, refuses to testify

Ukrainian sailors are forced to give false testimony to discredit military command and leadership of the state
13:49, 13 December 2018

Oleg Melnychuk, the commander of the harbor tag “Yany Kapu”, arrested by the Russian military in Kerch Strait
RIA news

The commander of the “Yany Kapu” tugboat Oleg Melnychuk detained by the Russian military near Kerch Strait on November 25 refused to testify. He insists that he is a POW, as his lawyer Edem Semedlyayev reported on Facebook.

“In his evidence, he stated that according to the Geneva Convention, he is a POW, he does not admit his guilt and does not give any evidence,” the lawyer said. He added that he refused to sign an agreement on non-disclosure of preliminary investigation data.

Related: U.S. House of Representatives condemns Russian attack in Kerch Strait

“The investigators of Russia’s Security Service want to shut lawyers’ mouths, so after saying “hello” they demanded to sign a non-disclosure notice. I responded that I could not sign such an “important” document, as I do not know which data I cannot disclose. The investigator could not specify his demand, then he found two “student witnesses” who agreed to sign,” the lawyer said.

As is known, three Ukrainian ships were on their way from Odesa to Mariupol to join the newly created Ukrainian naval base in the Sea of Azov. Russian naval vessels and aviation opened fire and wounded three Ukrainian servicemen. The ships and their crews were captured. Currently, 24 Ukrainian sailors face charges with ‘illegal border crossing,’ as they stay in detention centers in Moscow.

Related: Russian Justice Ministry replies to ECHR request about Ukrainian sailors

Soon after this act of Russian aggression, the martial law was imposed in ten regions of Ukraine.

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