Russia grants citizenship to ex-chief of Yanukovych riot police

Colonel Sergei Kusyuk, a former head of Kyiv riot police Berkut, will not be placed under arrest or delivered to Ukraine.

Kusyuk was granted the citizenship of Russia, Interfax-Ukraine reports with reference to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office.

“In accordance with Article 61 of the Constitution and Article 57 of the Convention on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters (1993) the extradiion of Russian citizens to other states is not carried out. In view of this, on June 8, 2017 the Prosecutor General’s Office dismissed the Ukrainian side’s demand to detain and take Kusyuk into custody till receiving a request for extradition,” Russian prosecutors said.

Sergei Kusyuk was spotted in Moscow during the dispersal of an anti-corruption rally in June 12, 2017. He was wearing a uniform with the insignia of the Russian Interior Ministry’s special-purpose unit and giving instructions over the radio.

After Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych had been ousted, Sergei Kusyuk fled to Crimea. Ukraine put the fugitive colonel on the wanted list on suspicion of involvement in massacres of activists during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014.

Berkut riot policemen shot dead many Euromaidan activists, including Belarusian citizen Mikhail Zhyzneuski. Special forces soldiers also beat Belsat TV journalistswho were filming protests in Cherkasy. Many of them are now hiding in the occupied Crimea and Donbas.