On trial: Five Europeans face the death penalty in Donetsk

In the self-proclaimed "People's Republic" of Donetsk, which belongs to Moscow, its own rules apply.

On trial: Five Europeans face the death penalty in Donetsk

In the self-proclaimed "People's Republic" of Donetsk, which belongs to Moscow, its own rules apply. Among other things, there is also the death penalty for alleged mercenaries. This now also affects several Europeans who are being tried in eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian fighters have put five Europeans on trial in the self-proclaimed Moscow-owned Donetsk "People's Republic". According to Russian media, these are said to be mercenaries. According to media reports, the five accused - a Swede, a Croat and three Brits - pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial in Donetsk. Under the law of the "People's Republic" of Donetsk, which is run by Russians and pro-Russian fighters, the Europeans could face the death penalty.

The next court hearing was scheduled for October without giving a reason, the Russian media also reported. According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the Swede, the Croat and one of the Britons were captured in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol. They face execution for attempting to "take power" and "participating in an armed conflict as a mercenary."

The only charge against another Briton is that of being a mercenary. The third Briton is being tried for recruiting mercenaries to fight in Ukraine.

On June 9, the Supreme Court of the "People's Republic" of Donetsk had already sentenced two Britons and a Moroccan to death on charges of having fought as mercenaries in Ukraine. All three have appealed the verdict.

A moratorium on the execution of death sentences has been in effect in Russia since 1997. However, this rule does not apply to the self-proclaimed "People's Republics" in the Ukraine, which belong to Moscow. Immediately before the Russian war of aggression began on February 24, Russian head of state Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the two "people's republics" Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. According to information from Kyiv, around 1.3 million people have left the region since the Russian invasion.

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