More than 100 people suspected of attempting to create illegally armed groups in Donetsk since January

The Ukrainian National Police of the Donetsk region continue to document the activities of separatists groups - members of the illegally armed groups which occupied a part of the Donbas region, the head of the Regional Department of the National Police, Vyacheslav Abroskin, said.

"In 2016, eight people among those detained in 2015, were sentenced to imprisonment. Since the beginning of 2016, 102 people are alleged to have been participants or supporters of illegally armed groups as per Article 256 (aiding members of criminal organizations or the concealment of their criminal activity) and Article 260 (creation of illegally militarized or armed formations) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Sixty-one people were arrested, including 16 for working against detention as a preventive measure. Since the beginning of 2016, 41 people have come under suspicion in absentia and were declared wanted. Six members of the illegally armed groups that were previously declared wanted have been detained," Abroskin wrote on his Facebook page Monday night.

According to him, in 2015 under the above mentioned articles as well as under Article 258-3 (creation of a terrorist group or organization) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, there were 1,101 suspected participants and supporters of illegally armed groups, of which 292 people were detained and about 220 were sentenced to further detention. Last year 809 people were declared wanted and 66 of them were detained; another 79 people were found criminally liable and were sentenced to imprisonment with the option to have the sentence suspended by the court.

Abroskin noted that once the materials are gathered and further evidence is presented in the criminal proceedings that these numbers could be higher. However, "it is not as simple as it seems at first glance."

"We need to collect substantial evidence for each offender that will perfectly satisfy the Prosecutor and further be recognized as evidence in court. At the end of this routine paperwork are human lives, those hundreds of thousands that were forced to leave their homes. No criminals should be left without punishment. And this is our work – we have the highest passion to address their crimes. Future generations will remember what happens to those who renounce their Motherland," the head of the National Police of Ukraine in the Donetsk region stressed.

  Ukraine, Donbas, illegal groups