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Russian court sentences commander of pro-Kyiv Russian Volunteer Corps Denis Kapustin to life in prison in absentia

On November 16, Russia’s 2nd Western District Military Court sentenced Denis “White Rex” Kapustin, the founder and commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), a paramilitary unit of Russian citizens fighting in the AFU, to life in prison on multiple charges, according to a report by the independent publication Mediazona citing the court's press secretary.

The trial was held behind closed doors, with journalists not allowed to attend the announcement of the verdict.

In April, Moscow's Basmanny District Court issued an in-absentia arrest for Kapustin in connection with the armed incursion in the Bryansk region in early March, which resulted in the death of a local resident and the injury of two others, including a 10-year-old boy. The RVC claimed responsibility for the attack. On March 6, four days after the raid, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the thwarting of an assassination attempt on Konstantin Malofeev, the owner of the propagandist TV channel Tsargrad, in March, with Kapustin accused of plotting the attack.

The RVC commander was charged with state treason, attempted terrorist acts, establishing a terrorist community, training for terrorist activities, and acquiring explosives.

In October 2022, the RVC published its manifesto, identifying itself as “part of Ukraine's Armed Forces.” According to Ukrainian military officials, the RVC is an independent group which is not part of the Ukrainian army. The group is a far-right organisation, while Kapustin is a well-known Neo-Nazi.

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