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Kiev launches criminal case against Russian actor allegedly firing at Ukrainian troops

October 31, 2014, 11:48 UTC+3 KIEV
In a widely circulated video Mikhail Porechenkov was caught wearing a helmet and holding and automatic gun allegedly firing at Ukrainian forces at Donetsk airport
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Mikhail Porechenkov

Mikhail Porechenkov

© ITAR-TASS/Vyacheslav Prokofiev

KIEV, October 31. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Security Service has opened a criminal case into “participation into terrorist activity” against Russian action movie actor Mikhail Porechenkov who was caught firing at Ukrainian forces at Donetsk airport.

Meanwhile, Porechenkov denied the accusations against him in an interview with TASS on Friday saying: “Naturally, these were staged scenes and even ammunition was blank. Why are they making this story out of nothing?”

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said earlier on Friday on Facebook that Porechenkov, who appeared on a widely circulated video, “personally took part in firing at a unit of Ukraine’s forces from automatic guns.”

“These scenes were shown by TV channels, fully establishing this Russian citizen’s guilt of committing a crime on Ukraine’s territory,” Avakov said in a statement.

Avakov said the Russian actor will be put on a wanted list and is to be extradited to Ukraine and arrested. Interpol will inevitably join the search for Porechenkov, he said.

“Investigators are convinced that having such an evident proof of the crime, Interpol will actively support the search effort, and Porechenkov will not be able to travel around the world,” Avakov said.

Under the Ukrainian law, an individual faces between 7 years to 12 years in jail for committing this crime, he said.

In the interview with TASS, the famous Russian actor said firing is constantly heard at the airport. “That’s why I put a helmet on just to be safe,” he said, adding that he could only borrow a Press helmet.

In comments to Ukrainian media reports that he had allegedly aimed at the side of Ukrainian forces, Porechenkov said: “I fired at no one at the airport or any other place during my stay on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).”

The actor said Avakov’s statement on launching a criminal case against him was a planned campaign. “Now, evidently, they want to name me the key separatist and started a campaign against my good name. I think they are doing this as they are toothless,” he said.

“Now every time when I take a fork in my hands, I will worry if they could call me the main terrorist as a fork can be used to harm someone. This is stupid,” he said.

Porechenkov reminded that he had arrived in Donetsk on a humanitarian mission to represent the Poddubny movie where he acted the part of a legendary fighter. The Ukrainian authorities have banned this movie, despite the fact that it tells a story about a native of Cherkasy Region, in central Ukraine.

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