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Ukrainian Court Sends Alleged Ex-Warden Of Notorious Donbas Jail To Pretrial Detention

Denys Kulykovskiy appears in Mariupol court on November 10.
Denys Kulykovskiy appears in Mariupol court on November 10.

MARIUPOL, Ukraine -- A court in Ukraine has sent the suspected former warden of a notorious jail in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk to pretrial detention.

The Prymorskiy district court in the city of Mariupol ruled on November 10 that Denys Kulykovskiy must stay in pretrial detention until at least January 7, 2022.

The press service of Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) told RFE/RL the day before that Kulykovskiy was detained in Kyiv on suspicion of "taking part in the killing and torturing of illegally held Ukrainian citizens," adding that he will face charges of creating a terrorist group, violating the law of war, and human trafficking.

Ukrainian writer and former RFE/RL contributor Stanislav Aseyev -- who spent 2 1/2 years in the detention center known as Izolyatsia (Isolation) in Donetsk, which is controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists, before he was released in December 2019 -- also wrote on Facebook that "a major war criminal and a guard at Izolyatsia, Denys Kulykovskiy, aka Palych, was detained in Kyiv."

Separatists seized the premises of the former Izolyatsia factory and art center in Donetsk after they took control of the city and some parts of the territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, commonly known as the Donbas, in 2014.

The exact number of inmates in the facility is unknown. Ukrainian nationals who were released from Izolyatsia as part of prisoner swaps have said they were tortured by guards there.

The defunct industrial facility is also used by the separatists as a training facility and a depot for vehicles, military equipment, and weapons.

Russia has provided military, economic, and political support to separatists in the Donbas since 2014. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Moscow maintains it is not involved in Ukraine's domestic affairs.

More than 13,200 people have been killed during more than seven years of fighting between the separatists and Ukrainian forces.

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