Ukraine leader hopes Minsk will hand over suspected Russian mercenaries to Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gestures during an open-air news conference, one year after his inauguration, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kiev, Ukraine May 20, 2020. Sergey Dolzhenko/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday he hoped Belarus would hand over suspected Russian mercenaries to Ukraine for future prosecution.

“I hope that the suspects in terrorist activities on the territory of #Ukraine will be handed over to us for criminal prosecution in accordance with current international legal documents,” Zelenskiy said on Twitter.

Belarusian security forces last week detained a group of suspected Russian mercenaries near Minsk.

Ukrainian authorities last week ask Belarus to extradite 28 people, including nine Ukrainian citizens, whom Kyiv suspects of participating in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Natalia Zinets