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Main War — In Uzbekistan, for the first time, a man who fought against Ukraine was sentenced

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In Uzbekistan, for the first time, a man who fought against Ukraine was sentenced

01 Nov, 2023
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In Uzbekistan, for the first time, a man who fought against Ukraine was sentenced

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A court in Uzbekistan has issued the first verdict in a case related to mercenary activities for participating in the war against Ukraine. The convicted individual is a 38-year-old Uzbek citizen named Ildar Khayrulin, who was sentenced to five years of imprisonment. The relatives of the convicted man claim that he did not participate in the war in Ukraine, did not travel there, and was in Russia at the time of the accusations, according to Radio Free Europe's Uzbek Service (Radio Ozodlik).

According to the investigation, Khayrulin took part in combat in the Donetsk region as part of a unit of the self-proclaimed "DNR" in 2014-2015. As evidence of the crime, the investigation cited Ildar Khayrulin's profile on the Ukrainian website "Myrotvorets," where information about mercenaries fighting in the ranks of the Russian army against Ukraine is published.

Expert analysis on facial recognition confirmed that the person depicted in the photograph in the "Myrotvorets" profile in military uniform with a weapon in hand is indeed Ildar Khayrulin, and the profile owner had provided information about military activities in Ukraine and "moved for the purpose of participating in military actions."

Additionally, screenshots confirming the accusations against him were allegedly found on Khayrulin's mobile phone and were subsequently confiscated as material evidence, as reported by Radio Ozodlik.

Relatives of the convicted individual, on the other hand, claim that Khayrulin did not participate in the war in Ukraine, did not travel there, and was in Russia at the time of the accusations. Ildar Khayrulin's mother, Madina Khayrulina, stated that in 2014, she was in Tatarstan along with Ildar and their elder son Lenur.

However, the convicted man's relatives did acknowledge that the photo on the "Myrotvorets" website indeed features Khayrulin, and he did pose in military uniform with a weapon in hand. Ildar's brother, Lenur Davletshin, told Radio Ozodlik that Khayrulin took the photo while on Russian territory, and the weapon depicted in the photo is not a firearm.

"This is not a firearm; it is an airgun that fires pellets. This type of weapon is freely sold in Tatarstan and throughout Russia, and no permission is required to purchase it. I don't know how this photo ended up on the 'Myrotvorets' website. The investigation has this photo, a few SMS messages, and statements from two other witnesses. Ildar said he didn't speak to these witnesses. One of the witnesses admitted to speaking to my brother while intoxicated. The other witness completely retracted his statements," said Davletshin.

The convicted man's brother also mentioned that Khayrulin was arrested in May 2023 for an entirely different reason - due to a family conflict over their mother's property. According to his claims, after Ildar's arrest, he was held in pretrial detention for nearly three months without any criminal case being initiated. "There was no investigation or questioning," said Lenur Davletshin. He further stated that the Khayrulin family intends to appeal the verdict.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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