On August 15, the Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) will consider the criminal case of five foreign citizens who fought for Ukraine and have been held prisoner in the region.

As reported by a source from the court, the defendants include Swedish citizen Mathias GustavssonJohn Ha, Croatian citizen Vekoslav Prebeg, and Britons John Harding, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill.

The trial, according to the source, will take place out of public view.

If the defendants are found guilty then they risk the death penalty, for which there is no moratorium period according to the laws of the self-proclaimed republic,

On August 5, the Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed the detention of Gustavsson. The Croatian Foreign Ministry also stated that it had information about the upcoming trial of Prebeg, emphasizing that it “rejects the accusations and does not consider them justified and legal, since they contradict international law and international conventions on actions with captured civilians and prisoners of war.”


Harding is a paramedic of the Azov Regiment; Healy is reported to have fought in
Mariupol; while Hill, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, surrendered in the Mykolaiv region.

In June, two British citizens Sean Pinner and Aiden Eslin, as well as Moroccan citizen Brahim Saadoun, were sentenced to death in the self-proclaimed DPR. They were accused of being mercenaries for fighting on the side of Ukraine.

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Human rights activists and other prominent figures with a connection to the trials have called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to propose to the head of the self-proclaimed DPR to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty.

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