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Political prisoner released in Russia returns to Ukraine

He was released from a Russian colony on 3 August.

Political prisoner released in Russia returns to Ukraine
Oleksandr Kostenko
Photo: crimeahrg.org

Ukrainian national Oleksandr Kostenko who was released from a Russian penal colony has crossed the border from Russia and is expected to reach Kyiv as soon as this evening, first deputy speaker Iryna Herashchenko has said.

"As the state secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Zayets, and our consuls told us, Oleksandr Kostenko together with our diplomats crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border. They are planned to be in Kyiv tonight," she said on Facebook.

She pledged that Ukraine would further "do its best to support our citizens illegally detained in Russia, regardless of their views, beliefs or any questions Ukrainian law-enforcement bodies could have to them".

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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