The surrendered Azov Regiment awaits fate, will Russia be sentenced to death?. PHOTO/Reuters
As Deutsche Welle reports, Ukrainian officials have offered guarantees that detained soldiers can return home through an exchange. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also expressed hope of saving the lives of the soldiers, saying: “Ukraine needs a living Ukrainian hero.”
However, Russia has not been in a hurry to negotiate an exchange. The head of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, has even gone so far as to claim that Ukrainian prisoners of war – whom he describes as “Nazi criminals” – cannot be turned over.
On May 26, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is scheduled to rule on the designation of the Azov Battalion as a “terrorist organization,” which means a ban in Russia. The country’s Attorney General’s Office is reportedly holding closed-door negotiations over a motion that has been prepared for that purpose.
Meanwhile, Leonid Slutsky – chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs, and part of the Russian negotiating team in talks with Kiev – has suggested that members of the Azov Battalion be brought to justice and lift Russia’s 1996 moratorium on the death penalty. executed,” he threatened.
According to German military expert and former NATO general Egon Ramms, executing Ukrainian soldiers in Russia would be a violation of international law. “The soldiers evacuated from Mariupol, including the wounded, were prisoners of war,” Ramms told German broadcaster ZDF.
“It follows the Geneva Conventions of 1949. When I heard the Duma representative loudly declare that soldiers deserved the death penalty, the Russian representative seemed to have once again misinterpreted the legal situation,” he continued.