VORONEZH, September 2 (RAPSI) – Alexander Vdovin, a 46-year-old resident of the southwestern Russian city of Belgorod, convicted of taking hostages at a city’s bank, has filed an appeal against his sentence, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday, citing Vdovin's attorney Alexei Ukolov.

On April 21, Vdovin armed with a hunting rifle entered Zapadny bank which was earlier stripped of its license and demanded from employees to hand over 23 million rubles ($617,000) that he had invested at the bank. He took three employees hostage who were released following talks with the police.

The man faced up to five years in prison.

On August 26, a court in Belgorod sentenced Vdovin to two years in a prison settlement.

Almost 30 Russian banks have been shut down in recent months after the regulator revoked their licenses in a campaign to tighten control and rein in shadow banking activity.