Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Jails Two Ukrainians Convicted Of Fighting With Chechen Separatists

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.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Russian Service

    RFE/RL's Russian Service is a multi-platform alternative to Russian state-controlled media, providing audiences in the Russian Federation with informed and accurate news, analysis, and opinion.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has seen its audience grow significantly since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 and is among the most cited media outlets in the country. Its bold, in-depth reporting from the front lines has won many accolades and awards. Its comprehensive coverage also includes award-winning reporting by the Donbas.Realities and Crimea.Realities projects and the Schemes investigative unit.