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Ukrainian captain captured by Russia refuses to testify

He says his crew is not liable for orders from senior command.

The commander of the Ukrainian small armoured artillery cutter Berdyansk, Roman Mokryak, detained by Russia, is not going to testify until his crew is released, his Russian lawyer Ilya Novikov has said.

"Berdyansk cutter commander Roman Mokryak told investigation today that he demands that he and his crew be treated as prisoners of war and that he will not testify to the Russian authorities until his subordinates are released," he said.

He said that "he is the only person responsible for what is happening on board, his crew was acting on his orders and cannot be held liable".

Lawyer Nikolay Polozov earlier said that another captured Ukrainian captain Denys Hrytsenko said he was a prisoner of war and refused to testify. He did not plead guilty.

On 25 November, Russia attacked and captured three Ukrainian naval vessels in neutral waters of the Black Sea off the Kerch Strait. It detained and arrested 24 Ukrainian sailors, including three wounded ones.

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