MOSCOW, August 2 (RAPSI) — The Moscow Basmanny District Court on Tuesday sentenced Russian citizen Anton Korolev in absentia to 9 years in jail for taking part in the armed conflict in Ukraine as a member of the ultra-nationalist Ukrainian battalion Azov, the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee reports.

Korolev was found guilty of committing such crimes as public calls for extremist activities and participation in an armed conflict as a mercenary.

Investigators claimed that in 2013-2014 Korolev actively promoted the ideas of National Socialism, and in 2014 he came to Ukraine to voluntarily join Azov battalion.

In Ukraine, Korolev underwent special training at the training bases of the Azov battalion, gained skills in handling weapons, explosives, knowledge of military strategy and tactics. In the period from 2015 to 2019, he took part in the hostilities in the south-east of Ukraine as a member of the battalion against the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. Korolev actively promoted his activities as a member of the battalion on the Internet among Ukrainian nationalists and speaking to Ukrainian journalists, the Investigative Committee said.

This Tuesday, Russia's Supreme Court has granted a move of the Prosecutor General's Office to designate Azov battalion as a terrorist organisation.