Student charged with damaging statue to Stalin released pending trial



22-year-old Edward Andryushchenko has been released on security provided by the staff of the Zaporizhya National University where he is a student of law. He had been held in the SBU [Security Service] remand unit after being arrested on suspicion of sawing off the head of the statue of Stalin.  He is supposed to have done so with other members of the right-wing national organization Tryzub.

The application for his release from custody was made on Thursday during the preliminary hearing into the case. The applications with respect to seven other young men were rejected with all of them being left in the SIZO or remand unit for the period of the court examination. The Zhovtnevy District Court in Zaporizhya began hearings on Thursday against nine people.

According to information received, the residential area around the court is surrounded with police, the court has restricted access to the court room of members of the media, claiming that this is due to the lack of places in the Hall. The first court hearing on the substance of the case are due on 13 April. 

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