MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - The citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, arrested in Libya in 2011 on charges of aiding the forces of Muammar Gaddafi, have been released, Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday.
"We have been freed by Russia," the newspaper quoted one of the released prisoners, Sergei Bychkov, the resident of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, as saying.
Also, two Russian citizens have been set free in late August, Kommersant's source in Tripoli said.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has told Kommersant that it had brokered the release of the prisoners.
According to Bychkov, 63, following Gaddafi's overthrow in 2011, numerous militias seized a significant number of foreigners, who have been "automatically accused of aiding the former authorities." He refused to specify the details of his release.
Over 20 citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus were reportedly detained by Libya's National Transitional Council back in 2011 and accused of fighting within the ranks of Gaddafi's forces. They have been allegedly fixing military hardware, used by pro-Gaddafi military against the opposition. Russian ambassador to Libya Ivan Molotkov has told RIA Novosti that four Ukrainians acquired Russian citizenship due to the reunification with Crimea.