Authorities in the Czech Republic have arrested a Russian citizen named Aleksandr Franchetti on an international warrant issued by Ukraine.
The Russian Embassy in Prague confirmed the September 12 arrest at Prague’s international airport and said it was providing consular support to Franchetti.
Franchetti is wanted by Kyiv for his alleged involvement in Russia’s 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Black Sea region of Crimea.
Aleksandr Molokhov, a spokesman for the Russian authorities in Crimea, also confirmed Franchetti’s arrest.
"The Czech Republic, apparently, has decided to justify its inclusion in the list of countries unfriendly to Russia and to kowtow in front of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis," Molokhov said, adding that if turned over to Kyiv, Franchetti faced "certain death."
Franchetti was an active participant in the events in Crimea in 2014.
Just days before Russia’s military occupation of the region, Franchetti created a paramilitary formation called North Wind, which helped seize power lines and gas pipelines.
In an interview posted on YouTube, Franchetti said he acted in coordination with Russia’s naval command at the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
According to media reports, Franchetti has lived in the Czech Republic since 2000, working as a fitness trainer. He says he has never violated international law.