On 17 December, Press Conference to Be Held on Legal Aid to Captured Ukrainian Sailors

On 17 December 2018, at 1:30pm, a press conference “Providing Legal Aid to Captured Ukrainian Sailors Following Russia’s Armed Aggression against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait Area on 25 November 2018” will be held at the press centre of Ukrinform news agency.

Organised by: Office of the Ombudsman of Ukraine; Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine.

Address: 8/16 Bohdana Khmelnytskoho St, Kyiv.

Accreditation for the media is available via [email protected]. Entrance is available via official IDs and NUJU cards.

Speakers: Liudmyla Denisova, Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights; Iryna Herashchenko, First Deputy Chairwoman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine; Emine Dzhaparova, First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine (moderator); Mykola Polozov, head of a group of lawyers; Illia Novikov, lawyer; Aider Azamatov, lawyer; Petro Anashkin, lawyer; Oleh Yelyseiev, lawyer; Emil Kurbedinov, lawyer; Serhii Panchenko, lawyer; Edem Semedliaiev, lawyer.

The press conference will present the strategy of protecting captured Ukrainian sailors; the choice of lawyers; and their coordinated steps towards freeing the sailors.

Additional information. On 25 November 2018, an attack launched by Russian vessels in the Kerch Strait area resulted in Ukrainian military ships being damaged and their crew members being captured. Following a stopover in Crimea, 24 Ukrainian sailors were transferred to Moscow, with three wounded placed in the Matrosskaya Tishyna remand prison and the others in the Lefortovo remand prison. Ukraine and the international community have recognised the captured sailors as prisoners of war; the Russian government intends to prosecute them merely as citizens who violated Russia’s state border. On 11 December 2018, a pre-trial investigation was opened. The Ukrainian sailors had already been provided with full legal assistance before.