Russia arrests Ukrainian MP Herashchenko in absentia

The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has arrested Anton Herashchenko, a board member of the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Ukraine and former adviser to the interior minister, in absentia RBC news agency reports, citing Basmanny Court secretary Yunona Tsareva. The secretary also clarified that the ruling was made on May 22.

A criminal case has been filed against Herashchenko according to Sec. 2 Art. 205.2 of Russia’s Criminal Code (public calls to carry out terrorist activity, public justification of terrorism or propagation of terrorism using the media or internet), which entails a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

“This restraining measure was chosen for a period of two months from the moment of extradition or arrest in Russia,” Tsareva noted.

Russia’s Investigative Committee pressed charges against Herashchenko as early as October 2015, when he asked his followers to tell him everything they knew about Russian soldiers taking part in the operation in Syria.

At the time, the Russian Investigative Committee said that Herashchenko “has effectively supported and spread the idea… that in this way terrorists and their brethren in Russia will be able to take revenge on Russian soldiers in accordance with Sharia law” and “deliberately issued a challenge to countries which are ceaselessly fighting the terrorist threat”.

In April 2018, Russia’s Investigative Committee also initiated an investigation concerning Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov – he was accused of obstructing Russian presidential elections. At the time, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said that the case would have no consequences.

  Anton Herashchenko, Russia