Ukraine releases and arms criminals to fight Russia, prosecutor confirms — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Ukraine releases detainees and suspects with military training so they can join the fight against Russia “special operation” in the country, an official from Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed on Sunday.

Moscow attacked its neighbor on Thursday, saying it was defending the people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which broke away from eastern Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Ukraine condemned the move, saying it was an unprovoked act of aggression.

Service records, combat experience and repentance are among the factors taken into account in each individual case, Andriy Sinyuk, a prosecutor at the Attorney General’s office, told Hromadske TV on Sunday. “It’s a complicated matter decided at the highest level,” he said.

Sinyuk was quoted by Hromadske as saying Sergey Torbin, a veteran, was one of the released detainees. Torbin has already fought in the conflict with the DPR and the LPR. He was jailed for six years and six months in 2018 for his role in the murder of civil rights and anti-corruption activist Kateryna Handziuk. The woman was doused with acid in July 2018 in a street outside her home and died in hospital from severe burns later that year.

Sinyuk said Torbin handpicked ex-convicts for his team after his early release. He added that another former soldier, Dmitry Balabukha, sentenced to nine years in prison for stabbing a man to death at a bus stop after an argument in 2018, had also been released.

The Ukrainian government is actively arming civilians as Russian forces approach its capital. The media on Sunday reported new fighting in the outskirts of Kiev.

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