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Chechen Prosecutor Asks For Long Prison Sentences For Two Ukrainians

GROZNY, Russia -- A prosecutor in Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya has called for two Ukrainian citizens convicted of fighting alongside Chechen separatists in the 1990s to be sentenced to at least 22 years in prison.

The prosecutor asked Chechnya’s Supreme Court on May 24 to sentence Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh to 22 1/2 and 22 years in prison, respectively.

Both men went on trial in September 2015. On May 19, they were found 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.