Coordinator of a group of lawyers working for 24 Ukrainian sailors Nikolay Polozov has said Russia suspended the preliminary investigation into the case of Ukrainian military sailors released from captivity in September 2019.
"Today, an investigator of the FSB Investigation Department announced a procedural decision to suspend the preliminary investigation into the case of Ukrainian military sailors," he wrote on Facebook.
According to Polozov, the grounds and motives of the adopted procedural decision will be known after the lawyers receive a copy of the decision.
UNIAN memo. On the morning of November 25, 2018, 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. All 24 crew members on board were captured and charged with "illegal border crossing" under Part 3 of Article 322 of the Criminal Code of Russia (imprisonment for up to six years). Later the Ukrainian sailors were freed and returned to Ukraine in a major prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia on September 7, 2019. The ITLOS on May 25 ordered Russia to immediately release the three vessels and transfer them under Ukrainian control.
On November 20, the naval boats arrived at the Ukrainian port of Ochakiv.
Ukrainian Navy Commander, Admiral Ihor Voronchenko said the Russians had dismantled some communications and navigation equipment from the seized ships.