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Russia to Try 5 Foreigners for Fighting Alongside Ukraine

Service members of the Ukrainian armed forces are seen within the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works complex in Mariupol, Ukraine in May 7, 2022. Dmytro Orest Kozatskyi / Azov regiment press service / Handout via REUTERS

Russia announced Wednesday that a court in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don will try five foreign men, including three British nationals, accused of fighting alongside Ukrainian forces against Moscow. 

The trial will begin on May 31 on terror-linked and other charges. The men are believed to face trial in absentia. 

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said the three British men, a Swedish national and a Croatian man have been accused of fighting alongside Ukrainian forces — including the Azov regiment, which battled Russian forces during the siege of the southern port city of Mariupol. 

The Britons have been identified as John Harding, Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy. The Swedish national has been named as Mathias Gustafsson and the Croatian as Vjekoslav Prebeg.

They face several charges including undergoing training to carry out "terrorist activities."

All five men are believed to have been released as part of a prisoner swap in 2022.

According to Moscow, the men had been taken prisoner during the battle of Mariupol last year. 

The Azov regiment has been designated a terrorist organization by Russia.

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