71-year-old Ukrainian citizen charged with espionage in Russia dies in prison
A 71-year-old Ukrainian citizen has died in a Russian prison, the human rights group Memorial reported on Sunday. Viktor Demchenko was being held on charges of espionage, involvement in terrorism, and illegal weapons possession, the organization said, most likely in the Rostov region.
A Rostov-on-Don military court confirmed Demchenko’s death to the state media outlet TASS and said his case had been dismissed “on non-exculpatory grounds.”
A law enforcement source told TASS that Demchenko suffered a stroke on December 31 that contributed to his death.
Memorial noted that little is known publicly about Demchenko’s case. Demchenko was born in 1952 in the Ukrainian town of Mospyne, which is now controlled by the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic.” The Russian authorities’ case against him went to court in August 2023.
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