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Maksym Butkevych may be moved to Russia in the coming months – defense lawyer

23.08.2023, 15:11
Photo: Mediazona
Photo: Mediazona

Human rights activist and soldier, Maksym Butkevych, who was sentenced to 13 years in a high security prison by an occupation court and is currently in a pre-trial detention center in Luhansk, may soon be transferred to the Rostov or Belgorod region of the Russian Federation.

Russian attorney Leonid Soloviev, who is defending Maksym Butkevych in court, announced this on Hromadske Radio.

According to him, this could happen within the coming months.

"And that's a positive, because it's easier for us to get there. And if he is there, they will adhere to the Russian standards at least somewhat," Soloviev added.

He also pointed out that the Russians are accusing Butkevych of firing a grenade launcher at a house door in Severodonetsk last summer. However, the attorney noted, Maksym was in Kyiv oblast at that time.

"If Maksym Butkevych is not taken for a prisoner swap, we will go to the Supreme Court and talk about this piece of evidence at length," Soloviev emphasized.

He added that the process of reviewing the case in the Supreme Court could take up to six months.

As IMI reported, on August 22 the Moscow General Jurisdiction Court of Appeal No. 1 upheld the "ruling" in the case of human rights advocate, journalist and soldier, Maksym Butkevych, who was sentenced to 13 years in a high security by the Luhansk occupation court.

On March 10, 2023, the Investigative Committee of Russia announced that the "court" of ORDLO had convicted three Ukrainian POWs: Maksym Butkevych (13 years in prison), Viktor Pokhozey (8,5 years in prison), and Vladyslav Shel (18,5 years in prison).

They were found guilty "of abusing the civilian population and using prohibited methods in an armed conflict (Part 1 of Article 356 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)."

On March 13, 2023, human rights advocates, media workers, volunteers and activists called for the release of Maksym Butkevych, a prisoner of war illegally convicted by the occupiers. The Ukrainian MFA has also called on the international community to condemn the sentence of the POW and human rights advocate Maksym Butkevych. 

In June 2022, human rights activist, journalist, and co-founder of ZMINA human rights center and NGO "Hromadske Radio" Maksym Butkevych has been taken prisoner by the Russians near ​​the captured Zolote and Hirske villages in Luhansk oblast. Russian propagandists announced the capture of Butkevych on June 24, publishing a video of his interrogation.

In September 2022, the Ministry of Defense of Russia confirmed holding human rights activist and Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier Maksym Butkevych as prisoner. He is currently in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk oblast. 

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