Finland to investigate neo-Nazi Yan Petrovsky's war crimes

Yan Petrovsky
Yan Petrovsky
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The Finnish Prosecutor's Office has announced plans to investigate Yan Petrovsky, the former commander of Russian neo-Nazi paramilitary group Rusich, on suspicion of committing war crimes in Ukraine prior to Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, national broadcaster Yle reported on Dec. 15.

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The prosecutor's office stated that the potential war crimes were committed before the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"The case concerns actions against injured Ukrainian soldiers who were wounded or had surrendered as prisoners of war during the [2014-2021] conflict in eastern Ukraine," the report said.

The preliminary investigation will be conducted in Finland as Petrovsky cannot be extradited to Ukraine. According to the Finnish Supreme Court decision, Finland is unable to consent to extradition due to the conditions of detention in Ukrainian prisons.

Finnish authorities have the jurisdiction to investigate the alleged crimes in Ukraine, as covered by international treaties ratified by both countries.

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Petrovsky, nicknamed Veliky Slavyan (Great Slav), is the second-in-command of the "Rusich" Sabotage Assault Reconnaissance Group, a Russian far right and neo-Nazi paramilitary unit that operates within the Russian army, engaging in conflict against Ukrainian forces. The group is also known to have connections with the Wagner mercenary group.

Read also: Russian fighter Petrvosky to remain under arrest in Finland

Petrovsky fought in the ranks of the Rusich Group in Donbas in 2014-2016. He is currently wanted, according to Ukraine’s Internal Affairs Ministry database, with the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office accusing him and his associates of killing and torturing Ukrainian military personnel.

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Petrovsky went to live in Finland under an assumed name and because his wife is studying there. He received a permit for one year of residence in Finland under the name of Voislav Torden.

Finnish police detained the militant Petrovsky at Helsinki-Vantaa airport on July 20 on suspicion of immigration violations when he and his family were traveling to France to visit relatives.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine