Homiel: Belarus citizen who fought for separatists in Donbas gets prison term

Homiel regional court found a 29-year-old Belarusian citizen guilty of participating in military actions in the territory of a foreign state (Art. 361-3 of the Criminal Code of Belarus).

“He was sentenced to 2 years in a minimum-security penal colony,” the press service of the regional court says.

The sentence was delivered at the open hearing, but journalists were not present, the press service told belsat.eu.

“We have no right to reveal the personal data of the convicted person, his name, because the sentence has not yet entered into force and it may be appealed within 10 days,” the press officer stressed.

The court did not specify where and on which side the convict fought. The local newspaper Homielskaya Pravda states that the native of Homiel fought against Ukrainians in Donbas.

According to prosecutors, in the summer of 2015 the Belarusian crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border. In Donbas, he joined a Cossack regiment of the so-called Luhansk republis as a private. He got a certificate of employment, service arms, uniform and food.

During the trial, the man did not deny that he had been in the Cossack formation, but claimed that he had never been a soldier and had never taken part in hostilities. If his statement is anythig to go by, before going to war he took the oath of allegiance when being a member of one of Russian public associations. Then he was sent on a humanitarian mission to the separatist-controlled regions of Ukraine. According to the Homiel resident, Cossacks did fight on the side of the unrecognised republics, but his regiment was not involved. Except for humanitarian aid issues, the Belarusian allegedly collected information for Cossacks, made videos. sometimes traveled to Russia’s Rostov region. In January 2017, he returned to his hometown, Homielskaya Pravda reports.

As reported earlier, Vitsebsk regional court decided to punish 29-year-old Alyaksei Yarshou with two years of freedom restriction for fighting on the territory of other countries (under Part 1 of Art. 363-3 of the Criminal Code). The hearing was held behind closed doors in September. On November 16, Homiel regional court sentenced Vital Mitrafanau, a resident of Rechytsa, to two years of freedom restriction.

КА, ІІ, belsat.eu