Volunteer Yaroslav Zhuk Abducted in Melitopol ‘On Trial’ in Crimea

Yaroslav Zhuk, a volunteer, abducted in Melitopol in June, is being held in the Simferopol Pre-trial Detention Center and is accused of committing an act of international terrorism.

As reported by the Center for Investigative Journalism, on June 18, in occupied Melitopol’, the Russian military abducted two Ukrainian volunteers – Yaroslav Zhuk and Illia Yenin. Zhuk’s sister reported that ‘the armed people broke into his house, shot in the air, scared a kid.’

On July 12, Vladimir Rogov, the ‘mayor’ of Melitopol’ appointed by the occupiers, posted a video with alleged confessions: Yaroslav Zhuk is saying, hesitantly and brokenly, that ‘on June 17, 2022, I attempted to assassinate Yelena Shapurova, director of city’s department of education. I threw a blasting charge from the window of the car. I am a member of the resistance movement overseen by the SBU (Security Bureau of Ukraine).’

As stated on the ‘Supreme Court of Crimea’ website, Yaroslav Zhuk has been accused of committing a crime under Russian Federation Criminal Code Article 361-1 (act of international terrorism), with penalties from ten to twenty years’ sentence or life imprisonment.

On August 11, 2022, the ‘Kievskiy District Court’ of Simferopol imposed Mr.Zhuk a detention in custody as pre-trial restraint, though the detention period remained unknown.

On August 26, 2022, the ‘Supreme Court’ of Crimea considered an appeal against this judgement and left the pre-trial restriction unchanged.

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