MOSCOW, October 7 (RAPSI) - Citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus arrested in Libya in 2011 and charged with supporting Muammar Gaddafi’s regime have been released, Kommersant reported Tuesday.
The two Russians, along with 19 Ukrainians and three Belarusians, were detained in the fall of 2011 by Libya's National Transitional Council. They were charged with having allegedly participated in the hostilities on the side of deposed leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
They allegedly repaired military equipment that Gaddafi’s loyal forces used against the opposition. Four of the Ukrainians later were granted Russian citizenship as they were registered in Crimea, according to the Russian ambassador in Tripoli, Ivan Molotkov, who earlier spoke to RIA Novosti. The newspaper was informed of the release of Alexander Dolgov (53, Samara Region) and Vladimir Shadrov (61, Nizhny Novgorod Region) by another source in Tripoli familiar with the case against the Russians. The newspaper confirmed the report with quotes from Dolgov’s post on a social network: “Freedom, what a sweet sound.”
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine confirmed the release of its nationals and specified that they were set free “with input from” the ministry.
Sergei Bychkov from Sevastopol told Kommersant that “Russia liberated us” but did not reveal any more details. However, he described some aspects of his life in captivity. After Gaddafi’s regime was over, he said, various militant groups seized “most of the foreigners who were automatically accused of supporting the former authorities.” The Libyans treated the captives “sometimes better, sometimes worse” depending on the progress of negotiations with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.