Moscow court arrests Ukrainian woman in espionage case. She was travelling to visit her ill father in Crimea

Lenie Umerova, a Ukrainian woman of Crimean Tatar ethnicity, was sent to a pre-trial facility in Moscow on Friday on charges of espionage, Mediazona reports citing the Moscow court database.

News outlet Graty previously wrote citing the woman’s brother that she had been arrested back in December 2022 in North Ossetia, a region in southern Russia.

Photo: Lenie Umerova / Crimean Human Rights Group

Photo: Lenie Umerova / Crimean Human Rights Group

The 25-year-old Umerova, who had moved to Kyiv in 2015, was travelling to Crimea to visit her father, who has cancer, when she was arrested by Russian border police in early December, fined, and taken to a detention centre for non-Russian citizens in Vladikavkaz. In March, a court ruled that Umerova must be deported from Russia, but later revoked the decision saying that Umerova did not present a danger to the country.

Umerova left the detention centre on March 25 only to be kidnapped by unknown men and brought to a different neighbourhood of the city, where she was immediately approached by several police officers who demanded that she go to the precinct with them. When she asked for details, she was arrested for refusing to comply with police demands.

Umerova was later arrested three more times on the same charge, spending over five months in detention. Her last arrest was supposed to end on 11 May. On 4 May, her parents came to visit her and were told that she was “taken by the FSB”.

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