Home » Russia court begins criminal trial against Ukraine’s Azov battalion

Russia court begins criminal trial against Ukraine’s Azov battalion

by Derek Andrews
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A Russian courtroom began listening to the case towards greater than 20 Ukrainian troopers from the Azov battalion, seized in Might 2022 from the Ukrainian metropolis of Mariupol. The members of the Azov battalion—together with eight ladies—face costs of involvement with a terrorist group and taking part in motion to overthrow Russian authorities.

Images captured by the Associated Press present males from the Azov battalion in a Russian army courtroom at Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Within the pictures, the lads sit with shaved heads behind a glass panel, separating the Azov members from others current in courtroom.

Russian prosecutors first filed the costs towards 24 members of the Azov battalion in Might, in line with Russian state information company TASS. Beneath the Russian Criminal Code, Azov members face costs of forcible seizure of energy, participation in an unlawful armed formation and coaching for the aim of terrorist actions. Every of the costs are enhanced by a terrorist designation, for the reason that Russian Supreme Court docket designated Azov as a terrorist group in August 2022.

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament, commented on the start of the trial Thursday. They claimed the trial has no authorized foundation, citing worldwide regulation and army immunity. In response to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), “Combatant immunity bars the prosecution of combatants for mere participation in hostilities.” The UN Workplace of the Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) echoed an analogous sentiment in August 2022, citing issues that Russia could start trials of Ukrainian prisoners of battle—just like the members of the Azov battalion.

The Azov battalion is a unit of the Nationwide Guard of Ukraine. The unit hails from the town of Mariupol, which is positioned alongside the Sea of Azov—from which the unit derives its identify. A JURIST dispatch from Ukraine described the group’s lengthy historical past in combating separatists and Russian armed forces within the jap area of Ukraine, starting as early as 2014. Most notably, the Azov battalion was liable for defending Mariupol towards a Russian siege which drew worldwide condemnation for its severity. From February 24, 2022 through May 20, 2022, the Azov battalion held. It was solely as soon as the battalion surrendered that the town fell to Russian management.

If convicted, the 20-plus members of the Azov battalion on trial in Rostov-on-Don face sentences starting from 15 years to life in jail.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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