Military intel colonel Chervinskyi's detention extended in Kanatove airfield attack case

Roman Chervinskyi
Roman Chervinskyi

The court has extended the detention of Colonel Roman Chervinskyi, who is suspected of abuse of power in the case of the attack on Kanatove airfield in Kirovohrad Oblast by Russians, for another two months, reported Ukrainian news outlet hromadske.

Chervinskyi's lawyers received on April 22 a decision from the Kirovohrad District Court, which stated that their client had been moved to the Kirovohrad pre-trial detention center.

"We have not received any confirmation whether he is really there," Kusa told hromadske.

Roman Chervinskyi's case is at the preparatory stage before the court hearing, according to hromadske. The term of detention was about to expire, and the prosecutor requested its extension on April 19. The lawyer noted that by this time four meetings had been scheduled to consider complaints and motions. The lawyers attended all of them, but on the last day they did failed to return to the courtroom in time after an air raid alert.

Chervinskyi's case

Roman Chervinskyi, a former employee of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence (HUR), was indicted by the SBU security service for abuse of power (under Part 5 of Article 426-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) on April 21, 2023, and was detained on April 24. According to law enforcement officials, the colonel, along with other people, decided to arbitrarily conduct a special operation to seize a Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft, whose pilot allegedly agreed to defect to Ukraine.

According to the investigation, the "operation" took place without the consent of the state authorities and contrary to the SBU's warnings. As a result of Chervinskyi's actions, Russia received data on the location of the Ukrainian Air Force and Ukrainian aircraft and on July 23, 2022, launched a strike on the Kanatove airfield. The attack killed the unit commander and injured 17 defenders. Ukraine lost two combat fighters, and the runway and other equipment and buildings were severely damaged.

According to Chervinskyi himself, after the HUR refused to engage in the operation, it was prepared by the SBU, and he and his team were involved at the last stage to "help from a professional point of view."

Read also: Deadly airfield missile attack: Court of Appeal upholds custody of ex-intel officer Chervinskyi

Shortly after the strike of the Kanatove airfield, Russia’s FSB issued a statement that Ukrainian intelligence was allegedly preparing an operation to hijack Russian military aircraft, which was "foiled." The FSB claimed that the HUR officers tried to recruit Russian pilots to take the warplanes to Ukrainian airfields in exchange for "monetary rewards and guarantees of obtaining citizenship of one of the EU countries."

The Washington Post linked Chervinskyi in November 2023 to the bombing of Russia's Nord Stream gas pipeline. His lawyer said the colonel was "surprised" by the information.

The prosecutor's office informed former intelligence officer Chervinskyi of new charges on Dec. 28. According to the investigation, in 2020, he tried to seize $100,000 by posing as an influential official of the State Fiscal Service.

Read also: The West has finished its investigation into the Nord Stream bombing — so why won’t it name Russia?

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine