MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) — A Moscow district court arrested in absentia Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the courtroom.
Last week, a Russian court arrested in absentia Dnipropetrovsk Region Governor Ihor Kolomoyskyi as part of Russia’s ongoing investigation into deadly violence in southeastern Ukraine.
International arrest warrants have been issued for both Avakov and Kolomoyskyi.
Avakov and Kolomoyskyi both said before they were not concerned by the activity of Russian investigators. Political experts, however, told RIA Novosti the arrest in absentia could complicate the officials' travels to foreign countries, while some countries may simply "not notice" that one or the other crossed the border.
A source at Ukraine's National Security Council told RIA Novosti earlier that Kolomoyskyi spoke against the ceasefire in the southeastern regions and opposed any contact with the independence supporters there.
During Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko's visit to Donetsk region, Kolomoyskiy "openly said that he would never obey and that his army would finish off those separatists," the source said.
Since mid-April, Kiev authorities have been conducting a special military operation in the east of Ukraine to suppress the independence movement. The violence intensified after the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions declared independence from Ukraine in May. Hundreds of people, including civilians have died in both regions over the past months.
Poroshenko announced a week-long ceasefire on June 20 and then extended it for additional three days. As the truce was called off without further extension on July 1, the active phase of the special operation in the restive regions resumed.
Moscow has described the ongoing military action as a punitive operation and called for an immediate end to the bloodshed.