Ukrainian freed in Poland after detention on Russian request

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Ukrainian activist and veteran of the war in the country’s east, who was earlier detained in Poland based on an Interpol request issued by Russia, was released on Sunday, according to officials and Polish media.

Ihor Mazur, however, must remain in the eastern Polish city of Lublin as authorities there examine the extradition request, private television broadcaster TVN reported.

In a brief interview with TVN from Lublin, Mazur said he was invited to Poland to attend a conference in Warsaw devoted to security issues and Polish and Ukrainian cooperation against Russian actions in the region.

“I think my case was the main topic of this conference,” Mazur told TVN.

Mazur was detained by Polish border guards on Friday based on the Interpol request from Russia, which had sought his extradition.

Andrii Deshchytsia, the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland, announced on Sunday that a Polish prosecutor ordered the release of Ihor Mazur.

Poland’s foreign minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, had earlier said that authorities would analyze the case and decide in accordance with international law.

Czaputowicz also said that Interpol warrants are sometimes abused.

Ukrainian authorities had appealed to Poland for Mazur’s release.

Mazur is deputy chairman of the nationalist group UNA-UNSO, which said on its website that Mazur was on Russia’s wanted list for participating in battles against Russian forces during the first war in Chechnya.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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