: RFE/RL: Belarusian who fought against Ukraine separatists jailed

14:00 May. 5, 2016

RFE/RL: Belarusian who fought against Ukraine separatists jailed


Taras Avatarau fought against Russia-backed separatists as a part of Pravy Sector's troops

A Belarusian national accused of fighting alongside Ukraine's extremist Pravy Sector has been sentenced by a district court in Minsk to five years in prison, Radio Liberty reports. 

Read also Ukrainians will soon only be allowed into Belarus with foreign passports

Taras Avatarau, a resident of the eastern Belarusian city of Navapolatsk, was found guilty on charges of trafficking weapons and explosive devices.

Avatarau, whose trial began on April 18, was detained in November when he arrived in Minsk on a train from Ukraine.

Authorities said they seized a pistol and an explosive device from him at the time of his arrest.

Read also Ukrainian presidential envoy Iryna Gerashchenko suddenly banned from entering Belarus

According to the investigators, Avatarau fought as a volunteer alongside Pravy Sector in battles against Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine's eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Pravy Sector was one of many groups across Ukraine's political spectrum that took part in the Kyiv street protests that toppled former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

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