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Crimean Authorities Place More Activists In Pretrial Detention

A court in Crimea has jailed a local resident, Oleksandr Kostenko, on charges of attacking a Ukrainian security officer in Kyiv during the February 2014 protests in Kyiv against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Crimea's Russia-backed prosecutor said Kostenko was charged with "intentional infliction of health damage" on February 8 and placed in pretrial detention for two months.

Crimean Tatar activist Iskender Kantemirov also was placed in two-month pretrial detention on February 8 on charges of taking part in “mass disorder” near the Crimean parliament in Simferopol, in February 2014.

On January 29, a deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Ahtem Ciygoz (say: chee-GOZ) was placed in two-month pretrial detention on charges of organizing clashes outside Crimea’s parliament in February 2014.

Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukrainian activists clashed with a pro-Russian crowd near Crimea’s parliament on February 26 – a day before armed men in unmarked uniforms seized the parliament building.

The gunmen remained in the legislature, and Russian troops were deployed across the peninsula, when lawmakers several days later voted to join Russia.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax