Finnish police begin checks on Russian militant spared extradition to Ukraine

Finland’s Central Police have begun pre-investigation checks on Yan Petrovsky, also known as Vojislav Torden, who is suspected of terrorist crimes in Ukraine.

Source: European Pravda with reference to Finnish broadcaster Yle

Details: Deputy Prosecutor General Jukka Rappe could decide in the next few days whether an investigation is to be launched.

The decision will be based on materials provided by the Ukrainian authorities, which contain arguments in favour of Petrovsky’s extradition to Ukraine and the reasons why he is suspected of terrorist crimes in Ukraine.

Under Finnish law, an alleged crime committed abroad can be investigated in Finland if it is appropriate “in the interests of the investigation and the administration of justice”.

Background: On 8 December, Finland’s Supreme Court ruled that Petrovsky could not be extradited due to the conditions in Ukrainian prisons. The court based its decision on the fact that in Ukraine, Petrovsky would supposedly be subjected to treatment that violates human dignity.

The Finnish media reported on Petrovsky’s arrest in Finland on 25 August this year.

He has been sanctioned by the EU and the US for actions that threaten the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

According to the US Treasury Department, Petrovsky has served as commander of the Rusich paramilitary group since 2022, when he took over from its former leader Alexei Milchakov, a neo-Nazi mercenary who has also been sanctioned.

US officials say Petrovsky assumed primary responsibility for commanding the Russian fighters after Milchakov was wounded in the battles for Kharkiv in 2022.

In August, Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General prepared extradition files for Petrovsky. The investigation suggested that in 2014, Petrovsky, together with the Russian-backed terrorists from the “Luhansk People’s Republic” fought against Ukraine as part of the Rusich sabotage and assault reconnaissance group.

After his arrest, Petrovsky asked to be extradited to Russia.

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