7 May 2019 18:24

Two Ukrainian fishermen detained in Crimea in Sept 2018 freed, on their way home

KYIV. May 7 (Interfax) - Two fishermen from Kherson, who were detained by Russian border guards in Crimea in September 2018, have been freed and are on their way home, Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova said following a conversation with Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova.

"I have just spoken on the phone with Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova. She informed me that, under our preliminary agreements, two fishermen from the Kherson region, Ruslan Kondratyuk and Andriy Morozov, who were held in the occupied Crimea, have been freed together with their vessel," Denisova said on Facebook on Tuesday.

Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) border guards detained the two fishermen in September 2018 while they were mooring their motorboat to the coast of Lake Sivash in Crimea after its engine had broken down.

"They are currently on their way home, to the Kherson region, to their families," Denisova said.

Moskalkova confirmed to Interfax that the fishermen had been freed from house arrest on Tuesday, after the vessel's attachment had been removed; a court had earlier imposed a fine on the men. "I hope they will be home soon," she said.

The vessel's captain is awaiting judicial proceedings scheduled for May 23, Moskalkova said.

On September 10, 2018, Russian border guards detained two Ukrainian fishermen who moored their motorboat to the coastline of Lake Sivash near the village of Stefanovka in the Dzhankoi district of Crimea. The fishermen are residents of the village of Strilkove in the Kherson region.

The Ukrainian State Border Service said the fishermen found themselves in Russian-occupied Crimea due to problems with the boat's engine.