12:21 15.12.2018

Another detained Ukrainian captain calls himself prisoner of war - lawyer

3 min read

Bohdan Nebylytsia, the captain of the Nikopol gunboat detained in the Kerch Strait, said at the questioning at the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) that he considers himself a prisoner of war.

"As with other sailors, investigative actions were carried out involving Nebylytsia, he was notified about orders on the appointment of examinations. He also underwent a questioning, during which he said that he is a prisoner of war," Nikolai Polozov, the lawyer of another defendant, told Interfax.

Nebylytsia was moved to different cells four times for unknown reasons during his custody in the Lefortovo pretrial detention facility, Polozov said, citing Emil Kurbedinov, the Ukrainian captain's lawyer.

"He is now in a cell with the man named Mukhamed. They are getting along okay, but do not talk much," the lawyer said.

Nebylytsia is the tenth sailor to say that he considers himself a prisoner of war and refuse to plead guilty.

Commander of three detained vessels Denys Hrytsenko, captain of the Yany Kapu tugboat Oleh Melnychuk, Ukrainian Security Service Officer Vasyl Soroka, Berdiansk ship captain Roman Mokriak, and several sailors earlier refused to testify.

Lawyers also earlier visited the injured sailors. They said that their clients are feeling well and are recovering.

As reported, the FSB initiated a criminal case and charged 24 Ukrainian sailors with "a conspiracy by a group of persons or an organized group to illegally cross the border in a violent way or threatening to use violence."

Courts in Simferopol and Kerch remanded these 24 Ukrainian sailors in custody until January 25, 2019. Early on November 30, some 21 of them were transported from Crimea to the Lefortovo pretrial detention facility in Moscow, and the remaining three injured sailors were placed at the infirmary of the Matrosskaya Tishina pretrial detention facility.

Kyiv said that the detained sailors are prisoners of war.

The FSB said that they cannot be considered as such, because they are charged with a criminal offense and Russia and Ukraine are not engaged in a military conflict or a war.

The arrested sailors are commander of three detained vessels Denys Hrytsenko, commander of the tug Yany Kapu Oleh Melnychuk, commander of the gunboat Nikopol Bohdan Nebylytsia, commander of the gunboat Berdiansk Roman Mokriak, commander of the logistics vessel battalion of the Ukrainian Southern Naval Base Volodymyr Lysovoi, Ukrainian Security Service officer Andriy Drach, crewmembers Yuriy Bezyazychny, Viacheslav Zynchenko, Yevhen Semydotsky, Andriy Shevchenko, Andriy Oprysko, Serhiy Tsybizov, Yuriy Budzylo, Volodymyr Tereschenko, Viktor Bespalchenko, Volodymyr Varymez, Mykhailo Vlasiuk, Bohdan Holovash, Serhiy Chulyb, Vladyslav Kostyshyn, and Serhiy Popov.

Vasyl Soroka, an employee of the Ukrainian Security Service, and crewmembers Andriy Artemenko and Andriy Eider were injured in the incident.