A captured Russian pilot who catapulted from a crashing Russian multirole Su-35S Flanker-E jet on April 3 is accused of violating the laws and customs of war and faces between eight to 12 years in prison if found guilty, the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) says.

An April 5 statement on the GPO’s website says the pilot had flown sorties over Ukrainian skies since Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin ordered a renewed invasion of the neighboring country on Feb. 24.

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In particular, he flew missions “from various airfields of the aggressor state…[and] fired missiles at Konotop in Sumy region, Kupyansk and Izyum in Kharkiv region, and Volnovakha in Donetsk region,” the GPO said.

The jet crashed near Izyum in eastern Ukraine, some 120 kilometers to the southeast of Kyiv. The pilot was captured on the same day after ejecting from the plane.


His alleged criminal activity violates articles 51 and 52 of the Geneva Conventions that relate to the “protection of the civilian population” and “protection of civilian objects.”

In accordance with the “norms of international humanitarian law, he will be detained in one of the penitentiary institutions designated as a place of detention for prisoners of war” during the ongoing investigation, the GPO stated.

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