As the Crimean Human Rights Group reported on June 10, the criminal “supreme court” in occupied Crimea “sentenced” two Ukrainian prisoners of war, Lieutenant Commander Vasily Dmitruk and Senior Midshipman Ivan Tereshchenko, to 17 years in prison for “hijacking a ship” and “kidnapping.”
On May 16, 2022, both were captured by Russia after they left “Azovstal” in Mariupol on the orders of their commander. It is known that the occupiers sent Tereshchenko first to Olenevka, then to Gorlovka in the occupied Donbass, and from there they transported him to “pretrial detention center No. 2” in Simferopol; he had been in Crimea since at least August 31, 2023.
The occupiers linked this draconian “sentence” to the detention of the Kerch ship “Nord” in March 2018 by Ukrainian border guards and its delivery to Berdyansk. Let us recall that after the detention of the Nord, the occupiers seized a number of fishing vessels from mainland Ukraine and their crews, demanding an “exchange” and using crew members as hostages.
These detentions became the basis for both international trials against the Russian Federation in the ECHR and the UN Human Rights Committee, as well as trials in Ukraine regarding the non-recognition by the Ministry of Reintegration of kidnapped fishermen as hostages of the Kremlin, case 420/7376/20, and regarding the illegal cooperation of the State Fisheries Agency with the occupiers, case 420/8381/20.
As is known, in both of these cases, where the applicant, the Ukrainian Independent Maritime Trade Union, was represented by ARC expert Borys Babin, the courts eventually recognized the relevant violations. Further, after several years of proceedings, in May 2024, a special interdepartmental commission of the Ministry of Reintegration, with Union’s and Dr. Babin’s aid, recognized the crew members of the YaMK-0041 from Ochakov as invaders’ hostages.
At the moment, there is no information about further investigation into the circumstances and consequences of cooperation between officials of the State Fisheries Agency and the aggressor in fishing in the Sea of ​​Azov in 2014-2021.

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