Russian Ombudswoman Office Acquires Funds For Treatment Of Ukrainian Sailors - Moskalkova

Russian Ombudswoman Office Acquires Funds for Treatment of Ukrainian Sailors - Moskalkova

NEW YORK (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th April, 2019) Russian High Commissioner for Human Rights Tatiana Moskalkova's office was seeking funds for medical examination and treatment at Russian medical centers for the Ukrainian military sailors who were detained in connection with the Kerch Strait incident, Moskalkova told reporters.

"They [the sailors] asked me for assistance to arrange medical exams at independent civilian health care facilities with advanced medical equipment, and I appealed to the leadership of the penitentiary facility, and the reaction was immediate, it was a positive reaction," Moskalkova said on Tuesday. "We were looking for funds because the sailors are foreign citizens and it is not cheap to treat them, and we were able to find the needed resources."

The ombudswoman added that urgent medical assistance was also provided to the Ukrainian detainees upon their arrest in Kerch and the detention in Moscow.

"At the moment of the arrest, three military sailors were injured; the assistance to them was provided in Kerch - a surgery was made - then they were admitted to a hospital at the Matrosskaya Tishina and Lefortovo [detention centers]," Moskalkova said.

Moskalkova said that she is personally engaged in the case of the sailors and had visited them at the detention centers.

"We are engaged in a constant dialogue regarding this issue, I try to keep it in a humanitarian way," she said. "I visited them in Matrosskaya Tishina and Lefortovo; the conditions of their detention are good, and none of the sailors have complained about the conditions."

On November 25, Ukraine's Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats, and the Yany Kapu tugboat illegally crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. Russia seized the Ukrainian vessels and detained crew members after they failed to respond to a demand to stop. After the incident, a criminal case on illegal border crossing was opened in Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly slammed Kiev's attempts to portray the detained sailors as prisoners of war, stressing that they faced criminal charges. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the incident was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to declare martial law in Ukraine, which was announced after the incident and lasted for a month. Putin said the provocation could be linked to Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko's low approval ratings before the presidential election.

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