14:17 17.02.2017

Ukrainian military officials should be protected from Russian criminal prosecution

Kyiv should begin working on the collection of exculpatory evidence of the Ukrainian military officials against which criminal cases are opened in Russia, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander and chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko said.

During a meeting with foreign military attaches in Kyiv on Friday, Muzhenko said that, according to his information, the Russian Investigative Committee has opened such cases against 37 servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"This isn't about six servicemen, this is about over 30 servicemen against which the Russian Investigative Committee has opened criminal cases. According to our information, there are 37 of them. I believe, in this situation, the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities also need to do relevant work and collect information on the innocence of these servicemen fulfilling their duty to their country," he said.

At the same time, Muzhenko said that "we do not understand how Russia is interpreting the opening of these criminal cases. In accordance with the charges, this is violation of the rules of warfare."

"Troops fulfilling their duty in defending their country need to be sure that the state will protect them," he said.

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