Kazakhstan convicts man for fighting in Ukraine

A court in the Karaganda region gave Nikita Stepin a seven-year sentence for "participation in a foreign armed conflict", a court spokeswoman told AFP by telephone.

Kazakhstan convicts man for fighting in Ukraine

World Bulletin / News Desk

A court in Kazakhstan on Wednesday convicted a man for fighting on the side of separatists in Ukraine, who are backed by the Central Asian country's ally, Russia.

The case received significant attention from media in Kazakhstan, where neighbouring Russia's military support for rebels in eastern Ukraine is viewed warily, despite strong ties between the two countries.

According to court documents cited in Kazakh media reports, Stepin fought for forces loyal to the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic.

The defendant also received a further 20-year sentence for two murders he committed upon returning to Kazakhstan that did not appear to be directly related to his activities in Ukraine.

Provisions of Kazakhstan's criminal code mean he will serve a maximum of 25 years.

Kazakhstan has a large Russian minority mostly concentrated near the country's border with Russia, and prides itself on maintaining strong relations with Kiev and the West as well as Moscow.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the Moscow-backed insurgency broke out in April 2014 following Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russia of funnelling troops and arms across the border to fan the flames of the conflict.

Moscow has denied the allegations despite overwhelming evidence that it has been involved in the fighting and its explicit political support for the rebels.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Mayıs 2018, 11:31