Ukrainian investigators have detained a prison official in the recently liberated city of Kherson suspected of committing treason by releasing inmates before the Russian army’s retreat.
The man, who has not been named, was head of one of the departments of the penal colony No. 90, the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) reported on Nov. 22.
According to the SBI, he collaborated with the Russians from the first days of the occupation of Kherson in March and allowed inmates to flee ahead of Russia’s retreat.
“The SBI detained a traitor from the Kherson colony, who released prisoners before the liberation of the city,” it said in a statement.
“On the day Kherson was liberated from the occupiers, the colony employee pretended not to notice the escape of the prisoners and did not take any action to prevent it.”
However, the official himself did not have the time to escape and was detained, the SBI added.
The former employee is suspected of committing state treason and could face up to life in prison, news site AFP reports.
On Nov. 11, the Russian army pulled forces from the southern city of Kherson in a major setback in a region Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed.
At the same time, all prisoners escaped from the Kherson detention center. There were about 600 prisoners. According to witnesses and Ukrainian authorities, Russian troops have left a trail of misery and destruction upon their retreat from Kherson.