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Russia releases pro-Ukrainian Crimean activist

He was convicted for "attacking" a Berkut riot police officer.

Russia releases pro-Ukrainian Crimean activist
Oleksandr Kostenko
Photo: crimeahrg.org

Euromaydan Crimean activist Oleksandr Kostenko, who was convicted in Russia, has been released, Radio Liberty journalist Anton Naumlyuk has said. Ukrainian ombudsperson Lyudmyla Denisova confirmed the news.

"He is already under the protection of Ukrainian authorities. Oleksandr is with the Ukrainian consul and they are heading for Moscow to the Ukrainian embassy in the Russian Federation. He is under the jurisdiction of our country. I'm in contact with the consul, keeping the situation under control," Denisova said.

He had been serving a term in a penal colony in the Russian town of Kirovo-Chepetsk.

According to Russian investigators, during the "mass riots" in Kyiv on 18 February 2014, Kostenko inflicted heavy bodily injuries on an employee of the Crimean Berkut riot police. He had an illegal rifled barrel.

Kostenko did not plead guilty. Following an appeal, he was convicted to three years and six months in prison.

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