Eight of 24 Ukrainian sailors arrested in Russia have recognized themselves as prisoners of war as of Monday, December 17. Head of the group of sailors' lawyers Nikolai Polozov said this at a press conference, - Ukrainian News reports.
He noted that at the moment, the defenders were able to visit only 11 of the 24 arrested sailors.
"8 of them have already stated that they consider themselves to be prisoners of war and they are", - Polozov stated.
He predicts that before January 1, 2019, the remaining 13 Navy sailors will also make declarations of recognition themselves as prisoners of war.
The head of the group of lawyers emphasizes that the defense uses exclusively the norms of the Geneva Convention for legal assistance to arrested sailors.
He also noted that only 82 Russian lawyers had expressed a desire to protect Ukrainian sailors. Of these, 34 lawyers were selected to form a lawyer group.
Polozov predicts that in January 2019, Russia will decide on the extension of investigation and arrest of 24 Ukrainian sailors.
He is also confident that the Russian security forces will try to set up the arrested Ukrainians against each other and will force them to make confessions.
As previously reported, in the area of the Kerch Strait on November 25, Russian military attacked the Ukrainian ships using weapons, seized Berdiansk and Nikopol small armored artillery boats and Yany Kapu tugboat, which carried out the transition from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol - from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. Three Ukrainian soldiers were injured during the capture. On November 27-28, the occupation court of Crimea arrested all Ukrainian sailors for two months. On November 30, Ukrainian sailors were taken to Moscow.