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Russian Captured In Ukraine War Zone Sentenced To 10 Years

Viktor Ageyev

A Russian man captured by Ukrainian forces in the eastern region of Luhansk has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A court in the region convicted Viktor Ageyev of terrorism and illegal weapons possession on January 25 and sentenced him the same day, the Russian's lawyer Viktor Chevhuz said on Facebook.

Ukrainian authorities said in late June that they detained Ageyev in a combat operation during which two Russia-backed separatists and a Russian military officer were killed.

Several days later, Ageyev said in a televised statement that he had been serving in the Russian military on a contractual basis when he was captured.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied that Ageyev was an active-duty serviceman when he was captured.

Despite ample evidence, Russia denies accusations by Kyiv and the West that it is providing weapons, training, and personnel to support separatists fighting government forces in a war that has killed more than 10,300 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

The Russian denial that Ageyev was an active soldier at the time of his detention echoed developments following the capture of two other Russians, Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, in May 2015. The two initially acknowledged that they were Russian Army soldiers, but retracted those statements after Russia claimed that they were no longer serving.

Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev were both sentenced to 14 years in prison in May 2016, after being convicted of fighting alongside the Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. They were later returned to Russia as part of an exchange for Ukrainian military aviator Nadia Savchenko.

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