Finnish Supreme Court Intercepts Extradition of Russian Neo-Nazi Group Leader, Jan Petrovsky to Ukraine
Amid Russia’s offence, the Finnish supreme court foils the extradition to Ukraine of Jan Petrovsky, a Russian Neo-Nazi group leader.
Possible Hostile Treatment for Jan Petrovsky
Finnish authorities captured Jan Petrovsky in Helsinki on July 20, 2023, due to suspicion of violating Helsinki Airport’s immigration laws. Ukraine appealed for his extradition who was also implicated in war crimes in Donetsk and Luhansk regions from 2014 to 2015. He fought with DPR separatists.
However, Finland’s Supreme Court stopped Petrovsky’s banishment to Ukraine. The court cited the poor condition of the Ukrainian prison where he may suffer degradation and torture. The European Court of Human Rights assimilated it as a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Instead, he will be banished from Finland to Russia.
“We are aware of the overall problem regarding the reluctance of some European countries to comply with [extradition] requests and the perception that Ukraine, being in a state of war, may not be able to meet all international requirements regarding the conditions of detention,” said Ukraine’s prosecutor-general Andriy Kostin.
In September 2022, the US included Petrovsky in the Russian-related sanctions list for displaying “special cruelty” in warfare in Kharkiv following Russia’s full-scale invasion. Canada and the UK also included him in their sanctions list for fighting for Russia. Likewise, the UK ordered his assets to be frozen due to his involvement in the disruption, sabotaging, or endangering Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, or integrity.
Petrovsky’s Involvement in Multiple Paramilitary Forces
Jan Petrovsky is the second commander of the “Rusich” Sabotage Assault Reconnaissance Group. It’s a Russian far-right and Neo-Nazi paramilitary group that functions within the Russian army, deployed in conflict against Ukrainian troops. Moreover, the group is known to be associated with the Wagner Mercenary Group.
Petrovsky lived in Finland with an assumed name because his wife studied there and acquired a permit for a year of residence. During his arrest, he used an alias, Voislav Torden, because he was already included in the EU’s travel ban.