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Captured Brits, Moroccans committed crimes in Donetsk, Russia says

Amid tensions over the death sentences of two Britons and a Moroccan by a separatist court in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the duo had committed crimes in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

The Donetsk People’s Republic is a self-declared independent state which was recognized by Russian President Vladimir Putin days before the war with Ukraine. The territory is universally recognized as part of Ukraine.

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Lavrov maintained that “the crimes in question were committed on the territory of the DPR”. The two Britons and a Moroccan were captured by Russian forces as a court in the Donetsk People’s Republic ordered the death penalty for Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Saadun Brahim.

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Reports claimed that they were accused of being mercenaries. Ukraine criticized the court’s verdict saying it “placed propaganda interests above the law”.

The Russian news agency reported that British citizens visited Mariupol in April and Moroccan citizen Brahim visited Volnovakha in March.

Britons had earlier pleaded with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to negotiate their release, but the pro-Russian separatist court sentenced them to death on Wednesday.

(With agency contributions)

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