Protasevich’s actions as “Azov” member suggest crime against Donbass - Deinego


Actions by former member of the nationalistic battalion “Azov” Roman Protasevich have the nature of crime against Donbass, Lugansk People’s Republic representative at the Minsk talks, the Republic’s Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego said at the press conference that addressed the future of Donbass.

“As for Protasevich, not only Lugansk, but also Donetsk has questions, perhaps in the same context,” Deinego said at the online event arranged by the Public News Service press centre. “ According to our information, Protasevich was a member of a nationalistic formation, the so-called voluntary battalion “Azov.” Of course, his actions as part of the service in the battalion have the nature of crime against Donbass.”

He added that “it is necessary to fully examine all these circumstances, so the question is how it can be done in the current situation now that Protasevich has been detained by Minsk authorities."

“The PGO has initiated work in this direction. Such opportunities are being discussed,” he said.

LPR prosecutors are conducting investigative actions over the fact of Protasevich’s participation in terrorist organisations. The probe is part of the criminal proceedings against him. The prosecutors said that they were ready to provide legal assistance to Belarussian law-enforcement bodies in investigating the suspect's crimes and requested Belarus to let them carry out investigative actions with Protasevich in the LPR territory.

Protasevich founded the Nexta Telegram channel which was recognized as extremist in Belarus. He was detained at the Minsk Airport together with his girlfriend Sofia Sapega during document check on May 23. Criminal proceedings against Protasevich were opened on several counts including the organisation of riots. Earlier, Protasevich alleged that that he had been in Donbass at the height of fighting in 2014-2015 in the capacity of journalist. However, Protasevich’s photos showed him in military uniform with a weapon in hands together with gunmen of Ukraine’s nationalistic battalion Azov. *i*s

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