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17 Jun. 2023

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Trial of Azov prisoners: another russian war crime against Ukraine

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Trial of Azov prisoners: another russian war crime against Ukraine

On June 14, the trial of 22 Ukrainian prisoners of war began in russia. Find out why russia has once again violated international humanitarian law and why the trial is a war crime against Ukraine

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Ukrainian soldiers of the Azov regiment, who were captured by russia in the spring of 2022 after leaving the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, now face 15 years to life in prison. Among the convicted prisoners of war are not only active soldiers who defended the besieged city but also eight women from the regiment's supply department who worked in the kitchen.


During the court hearing, the Azov's were charged with several charges, including participation in events organized to overthrow the russian (occupation) authorities in the Donetsk region and direct involvement in a terrorist organization. It should be noted that in the summer of 2022, the russian Supreme Court recognized the Azov Regiment, which is part of the National Guard of Ukraine, as a "terrorist organization."


The trial against Azov


Videos and photos circulated by russian media show that the courtroom was crowded. However, there was no confirmation of the presence of the lawyers of the Ukrainian soldiers, who are so vigorously reported by propagandists. 

At the same time, the trial looks more like a madhouse than a real hearing. After all, dozens of dressed-up prosecutors and jurors with smiles on their faces were bringing charges against Ukrainians who looked almost like skeletons after the captivity and torture they went through.


According to russian media, the trial began in 2022 in the occupied Donetsk region and lasted for several months. Subsequently, the case was transferred to the jurisdiction of the russian federation, and the prisoners were transported to Rostov-on-Don.




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At a meeting held on June 14, the "court" identified all the prisoners of war, so today we know the names of the convicted Ukrainians. Two of them were absent from the courtroom due to health reasons. As of today, we know that the court has decided to extend the preventive measure until September 29. The next hearing is scheduled for June 28.


Why the trial of Azov soldiers is another war crime


According to international humanitarian law, which russia has brazenly violated once again, military personnel are prisoners of war, which means that they are subject to the privilege of combatant. That is, the law prohibits convicting soldiers for participating in hostilities. And based on the charges brought by russia, the Azov fighters are being tried precisely for standing up to defend Ukraine, civilians and the democratic choice of the people. Moreover, russia is holding civilians in custody, which is also a gross violation of international law. Civilians should be released immediately, but the occupation authorities do not care about this.


It is worth noting that an official appeal to the International Committee of the Red Cross has not yielded any results, and the commission has not yet responded.


So, the so-called court proves once again that we are dealing with a terrorist state that disregards any norms of international law and decisions of international organizations. There are no laws for the occupation authorities, and therefore they pose a threat to the entire world.


We remind you, according to the latest reports from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are succeeding in several areas of the frontline in the course of counteroffensives. Read our article to find out which settlements have already been liberated and how the map of hostilities in Ukraine has changed.




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