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Russia Jails Dual National for Fighting for Ukraine

Denis Muryga Eric Romanenko / TASS

Russia jailed a dual Ukrainian and Russian national for 16 years on Tuesday on terrorism-linked charges for fighting alongside Kyiv's forces in Ukraine.

A judge in a military court in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don handed down the ruling to a man named Denis Muryga, accusing him of fighting as part of Ukraine's Aidar battalion, Russian news agencies reported.

The unit is active around Bakhmut, a persistent hotspot of fighting in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, which the Kremlin claimed to have annexed last year.

"Muryga is found guilty," the judge said, the Interfax news agency reported, citing a journalist in the courtroom.

State prosecutors had requested a sentence of 18 years, it said.

The news agency also reported the defendant was a dual Russian and Ukrainian national who was taken into custody in 2022 while attempting to cross the border into Russia.

The Aidar battalion was formed in 2014 during fighting with Kremlin-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, and was folded into the regular Ukrainian army later as the 28th battalion.

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