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Russia Says Sentenced Over 200 Ukrainian POWs

Ukrainian prisoners of war. Alexander Polegenko / TASS

Russia has sentenced more than 200 Ukrainian prisoners of war to lengthy jail sentences, state-run media reported Monday, citing a top law enforcement official.

Since invading Ukraine, Moscow is believed to have captured thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, many of whom were taken during the siege of the port city of Mariupol in early 2022.

Kyiv and international rights groups have denounced Russia's trials of the POWs as illegal.

"More than 200 Ukrainian military personnel have been sentenced to long prison sentences for committing murder of civilians and mistreating prisoners [of war]," Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia's Investigative Committee, said in an interview with state news outlet RIA Novosti.

He vowed Moscow would continue its efforts in prosecuting Ukrainian military personnel, including "high-level officials."

Many Ukrainian prisoners of war have been held in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine, while others were taken to Russia.

Bastrykin did not specify whether the soldiers were sentenced in Russia or occupied Ukraine.

But state-run outlet RT quoted an Investigative Committee source as saying 242 soldiers were handed sentences in occupied Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Russia and Ukraine said they had swapped hundreds of captive soldiers in their first publicly announced exchange in months.

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