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 Putin pardoned political prisoners Afanasiev and Soloshenko

President Vladimir Putin of Russia has pardoned Ukrainian nationals Hennadii Afanasiev and Yurii Soloshenko, unlawfully convicted in Russia.

Censor.NET reports citing the press office of the Kremlin.

See more: "Another two Ukrainians freed," - MP Iryna Herashchenko on swap of Soloshenko and Afanasiev. PHOTOS

"By his decree, the president has pardoned Hennadii Afanasiev, who was convicted Dec. 17, 2014 by the Moscow City Court, freeing him from further serving of his sentence. By his another decree, the head of state has pardoned Yurii Soloshenko, who was convicted Oct. 14, 2015 by the Moscow City Court, freeing him from further serving of his sentence," the statement reads.

As reported, since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Kremlin has captured several Ukrainian citizens hostages. Exact number of Ukrainian prisoners of the Kremlin is not known. At the moment, officials say, about 20 Ukrainians are kept political prisoners in Russian jails or pre-trial facilities, including in the territory of occupied Crimea. The story of Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko, who had been kidnapped, tried, sentenced, and released, is the most well-known case.

Hennadii Afanasiev and Yurii Soloshenko are among Ukrainian political prisoners still held by the Kremlin. Afanasiev was sentenced in Russia on politically motivated 'case of Sentsov-Kolchenko' to seven years in colony. The case is a criminal proceeding against Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov,sentenced to 20 years in colony for an alleged organization of a terrorist group in occupied Crimea. Afanasiev testified against other defendants, but later withdrew his testimony and announced tortures during interrogations.

Yurii Soloshenko has been sentenced in Russia to six years in colony for espionage. When in prison, he was diagnosed with cancer.

Read more: Several formulas of hostages exchange, including two-for-two and 25-for-50, currently discussed, - adviser to SBU chairman

After Nadiia Savchenko was released from captivity, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced of agreements to return Afanasiev and Soloshenko to Ukraine. He then said it could happen in June. It became known later that political prisoners Afanasiev and Soloshenko filed petitions for mercy to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

June 14, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced liberation of Ukrainians Hennadii Afanasiev and Yurii Soloshenko held in Russia.

 
 
 
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