Two Russian citizens have turned to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service at the Hoptivka checkpoint in Kharkiv region, seeking political asylum in Ukraine.

"The reason that made them ask for political asylum in Ukraine was hiding from persecution due to their official activities," the State Border Guard Service said.

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The agency says the two citizens are Russian law enforcement officers who are being persecuted in Russia for their principled position on combating crime.

The Russians claim "they became victims of persecution by influential people since they had tried to counteract the spread of drugs in pharmacies in the districts of their responsibility." The Russians explain that people who they dealt with belong to criminal groups engaged in the distribution of drugs, with extensive connections with officials at various levels in the Russian law enforcement system.

The State Border Guard Service says a fabricated case has been opened against them by the internal security of the Russian Interior Ministry and is being investigated by Russia's Investigative Committee.

"With no hope for a fair investigation into the frame-up case, they have decided to flee the Russian Federation to Ukraine. The Russians also said their friends had told them there was a real threat to their freedom, health and even life," the Ukrainian border guards said.

The Ukrainian agency is now checking the information provided.