Censor.NET reports citing Gazeta.ru.
According to Ukrainian law enforcers, Russian military Odintsov and Baranov were detained while trying to cross the checkpoint on the border with occupied Crimea. The criminal proceedings into their desertion were filed against the detainees as they had previously been serving in the Ukrainian army.
As explained by lawyer Artur Airapetov, the version of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry can be considered as abduction from the point of view of the Russian Criminal Code. Possible kidnappers could face up to 15 years in prison under the Article 126 of the Criminal Code of Russia.
However, the lawyer believes that the case will unlikely go any further than that.
"It is possible to file a case against a certain group of people who organized the abduction, but it will go nowhere. Ukraine does not extradite its citizens. It is also impossible to make Interpol issue an international arrest warrant against the perpetrators as the international community does not recognize Crimea as the Russian territory," Airapetov said.
"Kyiv will even benefit from it from the point of view of the international law. Ukraine is again trying to come into the public eye over Crimea and trigger a backlash," Airapetov said.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine, 20,315 Ukrainian servicemen, including members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, Border Guard Service, and SBU were stationed in Crimea at the time of its annexation by Russia. 6,010 of them returned on the mainland Ukraine from the peninsula. The rest were automatically charged with desertion. Main Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatolii Matios also said that his agency was receiving appeals for pardon basis from the Ukrainian military in occupied Crimea, who had violated the oath but subsequently changed their minds.
Earlier, the Defense Ministry of Russia announced that Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) allegedly detained and evacuated from occupied Crimea two Russian military.
SBU, in turn, said the soldiers were detained at the border with occupied Crimea since they were deserters who joined the Russian army after the Crimea occupation.