Lawyer Edem Semedlyayev has visited his client, the commander of the Yani Kapu tugboat captured by Russia, Oleh Melnychuk, in the Bilohirsk remand centre, Radio Liberty journalist Anton Naumlyuk has said on Facebook.
"He is holding up well. He said that he was subjected to physical force, but he was not badly beaten. He was questioned. He said how it happened: 'We were standing, waiting for a pilot, when we got attacked. We did not violate any border, I do not consider myself guilty," his lawyer quoted him as saying.
Melnychuk said he understand that it is a "political case, and the sailors are hostages to the situation".
In addition to Melnychuk, the Russians brought Ukrainian sailors Yevhen Semydotskyy and Vyacheslav Zynchenko to Bilohirsk. However, an investigator says that Zynchenko is in the Alushta remande centre. A court will select a measure of restraint for the three tomorrow.
On 25 November, Russia blocked the Kerch Strait, fired on and seized the Yani Kapu tug and the Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats together with their crews of 24 people.