Ukrainian court sentences Russian soldiers, prisoner swap taking shape

Series Title
Series Details 19.04.16
Publication Date 19/04/2016
Content Type

On 18 April 2016, an Ukrainian court sentenced two Russian soldiers captured in May 2015 to 14 years in prison for their involvement in the pro-Russian separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russia denied sending troops to help the rebels and says Alexander Alexandrov and his commander, Captain Yevgeny Yerofeyev, had quit their special forces unit to take part in the fighting on their own initiative.

Ahead of the court session, Mr Yerofeyev’s lawyer said the verdict was a foregone conclusion because of Ukraine’s wish to exchange the servicemen for Ukrainians detained in Russia, including pilot Nadiya Savchenko.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko later said he had talked with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the Russian soldiers and Savchenko.

On the 25 May 2016 it was reported that Ukraine and Russia had carried out a prisoner swap that saw Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko returned home to Ukraine, and the Russian prisoners, Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov, returned to Russia.

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ESO: Background information: 22 years behind bars for Savchenko
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BBC News, 18.04.16: Russia-Ukraine discuss jailed Ukrainian and Russian 'soldiers'
The Guardian, 18.04.16: Kiev court convicts two Russian soldiers of terrorism
Washington Post, 18.04.16: Ukraine sentences two alleged Russian soldiers it says fought with separatists
BBC News, 18.04.16: Ukraine finds Russian 'soldiers' guilty of waging war
The New York Times, 18.04.16: 2 Captured Russian Men Sentenced to Prison in Ukraine
The Moscow Times, 15.04.16: Ukrainian Prosecutor Demands 15-Year Sentence for Russian Soldiers
Euronews, 18.04.16: Ukraine jails Russian ‘servicemen’ for terrorist attack in restive east
Ukraine: President of Ukraine: News, 18.04.16: President of Ukraine had a phone conversation with President of Russia to accelerate liberation of Nadiya Savchenko
EUObserver, 20.04.16: Ukraine pilot deal poses questions on EU sanctions
Euro|Topics: Debates, May 2016: Moscow releases Savchenko
Deutsche Welle, 25.05.16: Detained Ukrainian pilot returns to Kyiv from Russia

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