Pro-Moscow separatist leader says tribunal being prepared for captured Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol

The head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said the pro-Moscow separatist government will soon hold tribunals for captured Ukrainian servicemen in Mariupol, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported.

"Preparations are underway for preliminary tribunals or intermediate tribunals. One of the first will be held in Mariupol, everything is moving towards this," Pushilin said.

The separatist leader told Rossiya 24 that he does not rule out the death penalty for members of the Azov Battalion who were besieged at Mariupol’s Azovstal steel factory.

"The nature of the crimes - rape, torture, humiliation, murder of civilians - for all these years does not exclude the death penalty for these criminals, but the decision will be made by the court, the tribunal," Pushilin said last week.

Though the separatist leader said international observers would be invited to monitor the tribunal, many fear the captured Ukrainian servicemen will not receive a fair trial and many will be found guilty of fabricated crimes.

  DPR, Denis Pushilin, Azov, Mariupol