Finnish Border Guards Detain Russian Militant after Court Decides Not to Extradite Him to Ukraine

Friday, 8 December 2023

Russian militant Yan Petrovsky, who was released from a Finnish prison on 8 December despite Ukraine having requested his extradition, has been detained by Finnish border guards and is likely to be deported from the country.

According to Ilta-Sanomat, the border service picked Petrovsky up from prison.

The border guards will most likely remove him from the country.

Ukraine had requested Petrovsky’s extradition, but Finland’s Supreme Court ruled on 8 December that he could not be extradited due to concerns about conditions in Ukrainian prisons.

Finnish media reported on 25 August that Petrovsky, known by the name Voislav Torden, had been arrested in Finland.

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 been the 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 that Petrovsky assumed primary responsibility for commanding the Russian fighters after Milchakov was wounded in the battles for Kharkiv in 2022.

The Office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General had prepared files for Petrovsky’s extradition. Materials from the Ukrainian investigation indicate that Petrovsky fought against Ukraine in 2014 together with terrorists from the "Luhansk People's Republic" as part of the so-called Rusich sabotage and assault reconnaissance group.

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

Petrovsky had been able to enter Finland thanks to a new name and the fact that his wife had been offered a place at a university there. He arrived in Finland by car through the Vaalimaa checkpoint on 19 July this year, accompanied by his wife and three children, and was detained on 20 July on suspicion of immigration offences when he and his family were on their way to Nice to visit relatives.

Petrovsky, who lived in Norway for several years in his youth, also took part in the war in Syria, fighting with a far-right group on the side of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Norway deported him to Russia in 2016, considering him a security threat.

If you notice an error, select the required text and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editors.