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Russia Jails Two Ukrainians Convicted Of Fighting With Chechen Separatists

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service
  • RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

Ukrainian citizens Mykola Karpyuk (right) and Stanislav Klyh (left) in a defendants' cage in a court in Grozny.

Ukrainian citizens Mykola Karpyuk (right) and Stanislav Klyh (left) in a defendants' cage in a court in Grozny.

GROZNY, Russia -- A court in Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya has sentenced two Ukrainian citizens to lengthy prison terms after they were found guilty of fighting alongside Chechen separatists in the 1990s.

Chechnya's Supreme Court on May 26 sentenced Mykola Karpyuk to 22 years and Stanislav Klykh to 20 years in prison.

On May 19, a jury found both men guilty of participating in the activities of a militant group, including murder and attempted murder.

Investigators said they were members of the group known as the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO) and arrived in Chechnya in 1994 to fight alongside Chechen separatists against Russia's federal forces, leading to the killing of dozens of Russian soldiers.

UNA-UNSO has been officially branded as extremist and banned in Russia.

The Moscow-based Memorial human rights center has recognized Karpyuk and Klykh as political prisoners.

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