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Russian court sentences Ukrainian man to 25 years in prison for alleged railway sabotage

Apart from railway sabotage, the Russian Military Court also charged Serhii Karmazin with espionage, training in sabotage and terrorist activities, and preparation for a terrorist act, while denying him access to a human rights lawyer during the investigation.
Ukrainian citizen, Serhii Karmazin sentenced to 25 years in prison in Russia
Ukrainian citizen, Serhii Karmazin. Source: Telegram channel of the Zone of Solidarity, a Russian initiative that supports political prisoners in Russia.
Russian court sentences Ukrainian man to 25 years in prison for alleged railway sabotage

A Russian military court sentenced a Ukrainian citizen, Serhii Karmazin, to 25 years in prison and a fine of 700,000 rubles ($7,483) for allegedly setting fire to railway equipment near Moscow in 2023, according to Zone of Solidarity, a Russian initiative that supports political prisoners in Russia. 

The Russian military court found a 46-year-old native of Kharkiv Oblast “guilty” of:

  • espionage;
  • training in sabotage and terrorist activities;
  • preparation for the manufacture of explosives;
  • preparation for a terrorist act;
  • participation in sabotage and terrorist groups. 

The Second Western District Military Court reached the verdict on 28 March, but the court’s press service did not report on the decision back then. Karmazin himself revealed the sentence in a letter to one of the subscribers of Zone of Solidarity.

Karmazin appealed the verdict. A human rights lawyer was not allowed to see him during the court investigation.

Serhii Karmazin was detained in February 2023, and according to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), he set fire to railway equipment in the Moscow Oblast.

Radio Liberty (RL) Ukraine reports that following Karmazin’s detention, the FSB released a video in which a man claimed he was allegedly recruited by employees of the special services of Poland and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Karmazin also said that he was forced to “fulfill the demands of the SBU” because of their threats to his daughter, who lives in Vinnytsia, West-central Ukraine.

In the comment to the Russian media Vot-tak, the SBU denied any cooperation with Karmazin and stated that he is on the list of prisoners of war and persons illegally deprived of their liberty as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there have been regular incidents of arson targeting railway infrastructure in Russia. In most cases, the investigation claims that the arsonists acted on the orders of Ukrainian special services, according to RL.

According to UK intelligence,  railway sabotage in Russia led to over 76 court cases and the prosecution of 137 individuals, mostly young people under 24, as of October 2023. This disruption impacts Russia’s ability to transport troops and weapons, essential for its war against Ukraine.

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