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Volunteer who helped hundreds of Ukrainians return home from Russia arrested in Belgorod region

Source: The Insider

Alexander Demidenko, a Russian man who works as a volunteer to help Ukrainian citizens in Russia return to Ukraine, has been arrested in Russia’s Belgorod region.

According to local media, on October 17, Demidenko was abducted at the Kolotilovka-Pokrovka checkpoint on the Russia-Ukraine border, likely by officers from the Chechen Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) units that operate the checkpoint. The 61-year-old was reportedly helping an elderly woman with cancer cross the border at the time of his capture.

Demidenko’s wife, Natalia, told journalists that her husband was briefly brought to their home on October 20 and that she saw numerous bruises on his body. She said that police and Chechen Special Forces officers searched the apartment and confiscated a laptop as well as “some kind of flare gun or pistol” that her husband kept “for self-defense.”

According to the Telegram channel Astra, Demideno has been formally arrested for 10 days on charges of drinking alcohol in public and charged with a felony for arms trafficking.

Demidenko has reportedly helped hundreds of Ukrainians return to their home country.

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