Former commander of the Ukrainian volunteer battalion Aidar Serhiy Melnichuk was detained in Greece at the request of the Russian authorities. In Russia, Melnichuk is accused of involvement in the deaths of journalists of the Russian state news agency VGTRK in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Melnichuk was detained at the border of Greece and Bulgaria on Sunday, March 1. As he himself said on his Facebook page, he is accused of murder. The former soldier noted that his pregnant wife and ten-month-old son were taken to the police station together with him. However, later, according to him, they were placed in a hotel located near the police station.
The arrest of Melnichuk is reportedly connected with the case of Nadiya Savchenko, who was sentenced in Russia to 22 years in the case of the deaths of VGTRK journalists Anton Voloshin and Igor Kornelyuk in 2014. According to Russian authorities, Melnichuk participated "in mortar shelling of residential areas" and was one of the "organizers of the killing".
Earlier, in an interview with the BBC Russian Service, he admitted that he was directing the artillery fire that killed the Russians. Sergey Melnichuk was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) from the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko in 2014 and became a member of the "Will of the People" parliamentary faction in 2016.