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Nineteen captured Ukrainian sailors identify themselves as PoWs

They demand Russia treat them in line with the Geneva Convention.

Nineteen captured Ukrainian sailors identify themselves as PoWs
Photo: Screengrab

Nineteen out of 24 Ukrainian sailors detained by Russia off the Kerch Strait have identified themselves as prisoners of war, lawyer Sergey Badamshin has told 112 Ukrayina TV.

"Nineteen Ukrainian sailors already have identified themselves as prisoners of war and demand relevant treatment by the Russian authorities under the Geneva Convention," the lawyer said.

He added that the three wounded sailors – Soroka, Artemenko and Eyder – receive medical help. Other detained sailors are held in the Lefortovo remand centre in Moscow.

"By the New Year, lawyers must be able to meet every one of them to discuss their position and check out on their health, including on detention conditions. All the sailors unanimously say they are prisoners of war. Second, they are all modest. Lawyers can hardly make them say what they should bring them," he said.

On 25 November, Russia attacked three Ukrainian vessels in international waters off the Kerch Strait and captured their crews, including three wounded ones. It later placed them in custody in Moscow at least until 25 January 2019.

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