MOSCOW, March 29 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Babushkinsky District Court has sentenced Russian national Roman Zheleznov to 4 years in prison in absentia for fighting as a mercenary of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in Donbass, the court’s spokesperson Maria Borovikova has told RAPSI.

Under Russian legislation, a mercenary is an individual who is hired for monetary gain and is not a citizen of the country that is involved in an armed conflict or hostilities, who has no permanent residence in that country, and who has not been sent to the said country in an official capacity.

In July 2014, Zheleznov came to Ukraine and voluntarily joined the Azov Battalion for fighting in Donbass.

Then spokesperson of Russia’s Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin said that Zheleznov, was fighting in Ukraine for 4,000 hryvnias (about $309 at that time) a month.

The Azov Battalion is a far-right paramilitary unit of hundreds of volunteers that reports to the Interior Ministry of Ukraine. It has been doing much of the frontline fighting in Kiev’s war with the self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine.