Ukraine has confirmed it requested that Czech authorities detain Aleksandr Franchetti, a Russian citizen wanted by Kyiv on an international arrest warrant, and is seeking his extradition to Kyiv.

Franchetti, who was detained at Prague’s international airport on September 12, is wanted by Ukraine for his alleged involvement in Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea region of Crimea.

“The detention was the result of coordinated actions of Ukrainian and Czech law enforcement agencies to bring Aleksandr Franchetti to justice for a number of crimes against our state, including the participation in the Russian occupation of Crimea,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko told RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service on September 13.

Franchetti was an active participant in the events in Crimea in 2014. Just days before Russia’s military occupation of the region, Franchetti created a paramilitary formation called North Wind, which helped seize power lines and gas pipelines.

In an interview posted on YouTube, Franchetti said he acted in coordination with Russia’s naval command at the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

Source – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty