Zelensky Awarded a National Guard Militant Suspected of Committing Murder in Donbass

President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky awarded an order to the Ukrainian serviceman Vitaly Markiv, who was convicted and then acquitted in Italy in the case of the murder of an Italian journalist in Donbass. This is stated in a message published on the website of the head of state on December 12th.

“President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, taking into account the request of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, signed decree No. 563/2020 on awarding senior sergeant of the National Guard Vitaly Markiv with the 3rd degree order for courage,” the report says.

The decree was published on the day when Ukraine celebrates its Day of the Ground Forces. “Vitaly Markiv was awarded for outstanding personal achievements in state and public activities, exemplary performance of official and civil duty, high professionalism and significant contribution to the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens and interests of Ukraine at the international level,” reads the message from Zelensky’s office. The document states that “Vitaly Markiv was unjustly sentenced to 24 years in prison in Italy because of the death of a journalist, but, while preserving military honour and civil dignity, managed to prove his innocence and get freedom”.

Moscow’s Basmanny Court on December 11th ordered the arrest in absentia of Ukrainian National Guard serviceman Vitaly Markiv, accused of killing two people near Slavyansk in May 2014.

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