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Russian Court Adjourns Ukrainian Man's Terrorism Trial Shortly After Its Start

Pavlo Hryb in the defendant's cage in a Russian court in Krasnodar in October 2017
Pavlo Hryb in the defendant's cage in a Russian court in Krasnodar in October 2017

A court in Russia adjourned the trial of Ukrainian citizen Pavlo Hryb, who is charged with abetting terrorism, shortly after the trial started on July 17.

The North Caucasus Regional Court in Rostov-on-Don adjourned the trial until July 23 after the defendant's lawyer did not show up.

Hryb, a 20-year-old Ukrainian citizen, went missing in late August after he traveled to Belarus to meet a woman he met online in what his relatives believe was a trap set by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).

Russia's FSB informed Kyiv later that Hryb was being held in a detention center in Russia on suspicion of abetting terrorism.

Investigators say Hryb used the Internet to instruct a teenage girl in Russia's southern city of Sochi to carry out a terrorist act using an explosive device.

Hryb's father, Ihor Hryb, has said that the case against his son was Russia's retaliation for his openly expressing opinions in the Internet critical of Russia's interference in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has condemned what it called Russia's "persecution of Ukrainian citizens in Russia and elsewhere, groundless detentions of Ukrainians, violation of their rights to have fair trials, and their convictions on fabricated and politically motivated charges."

Kyiv and Moscow have been locked in a standoff over Russia’s seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and Moscow's backing of armed separatists in a war that has killed more than 10,000 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Based in reporting by TASS and Interfax

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