Russia says UK "often hysterical", after Donetsk death sentences

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaks during the annual news conference of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia said on Friday that Britain should appeal to the authorities of the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) - internationally recognised as part of Ukraine - over two British citizens sentenced to death on Thursday by a Donetsk court.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement posted on the ministry website that Britain's reaction to such cases was "often hysterical".

Russia describes the two Britons and one Moroccan, who had been captured serving with Ukrainian forces in east Ukraine, as "mercenaries". The British government says they are prisoners of war, entitled to protection under the Geneva Convention.

Russia is the only United Nations member state to recognise the DPR, much of it still controlled by Ukraine, as independent. (This story corrects second paragraph to say that Zakharova made comments in statement on ministry website, not on Telegram)

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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