Russian citizens Maxim Odintsov, Alexander Baranov and Yevgeny Mefedov are undergoing the legal procedure for swapping detainees with Russia, their defense attorney Valentin Rybin told TASS on Thursday.
"My clients are undergoing legal procedure to carry out a swap. The swap can be expected in the near future," he said. Rybin also specified that these are Russian citizens Odintsov and Baranov, found guilty of defection and treason and sentenced to 14 and 13 years behind bars respectively, as well as Mefedov who is accused of separatism, released on bail on August 19 and known for being prosecuted as part of the case into the May 2, 2014 tragedy in Odessa.
According to the defense attorney, there are other names on the list but he didn’t specify them. "They are all concentrating at assembly points and I hope that they will soon be sent for a swap," he added.
Earlier, the Kommersant newspaper reported that Russian and Ukrainian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky managed to achieve progress in their telephone call on the issue of detainee swap, including the sailors arrested in the Kerch Strait incident. The newspaper added that the swap could be carried out before the end of August, citing sources.
One month ago, Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Ombudswoman Lyudmila Denisova said that she had received a list of 35 Russian citizens detained in Ukraine from Russian Ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova at their meeting. In turn, the Ukrainian human rights chief provided her Russian counterpart with a list of 150 Ukrainians, who are detained in Russia according to her information.