JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap: Necessary, Not Sufficient” – International Crisis Group

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Moscow released 35 Ukrainian citizens. … includ[ing] four Crimeans arrested shortly after Russia’s … takeover of the peninsula, along with 24 sailors … Russian security forces apprehended [on] the Black Sea …. Russian courts had charged them with crimes including terrorism, espionage, conspiracy to violate state borders, and, most bizarrely, killing Russian troops in Chechnya in the mid-1990s. Human rights groups … viewed the sailors as prisoners of war. Kyiv … released 35: 22 Ukrainian citizens, twelve Russian citizens and one Moldovan. … [Detainee] Kirill Vyshynsky … had directed the Ukrainian branch of Russian state news outlet RIA. … Other prisoners had been charged with fighting aUkraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smokelongside Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine or aligning with Russian troops in Crimea. Most controversially, Kyiv freed Vladimir Tsemakh, a Ukrainian citizen and separatist air defence commander who may have helped conceal the missile that shot down flight MH-17 in July 2014, killing all aboard. …”

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