Moscow court extends custody term for 12 POW Ukrainian sailors until Oct 24
Moscow's Lefortovo district court has extended the custody term for 12 POW Ukrainian sailors until October 24.
The term was extended to Mykhailo Vlasiuk, Bohdan Holovash, Denys Hrytsenko, Andriy Drach, Viacheslav Zinchenko, Serhiy Popov, Andriy Artemenko, Viktor Bespalchenko, Volodymyr Varimez, Vladyslav Kostyshyn, Oleh Melnychuk, Vasyl Soroka, and Serhiy Chuliba, according to an UNIAN correspondent in the Russian Federation.
The judges said the ruling could be appealed at the Moscow City Court.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on the morning of November 25, Russia blocked the passage to the Kerch Strait for the Ukrainian tugboat "Yany Kapu" and two armored naval boats "Berdyansk" and "Nikopol," which were on a scheduled re-deployment from the Black Sea port of Odesa to the Azov Sea port of Mariupol.
The Ukraine Navy Command noted that the Russian side had been informed of the plans to re-deploy the vessels in advance in accordance with international standards to ensure the safety of navigation. The Russian coast guard ship "Don" rammed the Ukrainian tugboat, damaging the Ukrainian vessel.
As the Ukrainian boats were heading back in the Odesa direction after being rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.
All 24 crew members on board were captured and later remanded in custody for two months, being charged with "illegal border crossing" (the sailors are facing up to six years in prison). Three crewmen were wounded in the attack.
Russian-controlled "courts" in occupied Crimea ruled that all 24 detainees should be remanded in custody, after which they were transferred to the Moscow-based Lefortovo and Matrosskaya Tishina detention centers.