Pro-Russian Separatist Minister: Azov Fighters Risk Death Penalty
The fighters of Ukraine’s Azov battalion face the death penalty, Yuri Sirovatko, the pro-Russian justice minister of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, confirmed on Monday.
After their surrender and evacuation from the Azov stable factory, where they were holed up for months, the Azov fighters were captured by the Russians.
“We have 2,300 war criminals from the Azovstal factory,” Sirovatko said. He named the Azov battalion “a terror organization” and stressed that criminal investigations will follow against all Azov fighters with a view to trial. But things don’t look rosy for the Ukrainians. “Such crimes are punishable by death in our country,” said Sirovatko.
Russia presents the Azov regiment, founded by Ukrainian nationalists, as neo-Nazis and therefore wants to try them as war criminals and not as prisoners of war. On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for the prisoners to be released.