A Kazakh citizen prosecutors say fought alongside pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine is being tried on charges of intentional and illegal participation in a military conflict abroad.
Yevgeny Vdovenko went on trial at Sary-Arqa District Court in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on December 12.
Prosecutors told the court that Vdovenko, 30, took part in military operations in Ukraine, used weapons, guarded checkpoints, and patrolled the city of Luhansk, one of two provincial capitals held by separatists whose conflict with government forces has killed 4,300 people since April.
Vdovenko was arrested in October and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
He pleaded "partially guilty," saying that he did not go to Ukraine to kill people or overthrow a government.
"I went there to help the local people," he said.
Vdovenko served three years in jail between 2009 and 2012 for robbery and illegal weapons possession.