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Russian veterans seek probe of private military contracting

MOSCOW (AP) — An activist says a group of Russian military veterans has asked the International Criminal Court to probe the activities of Russian private security companies.

Yevgeny Shabayev, an activist with the All-Russia Officers Assembly, told Ekho Moskvy radio Tuesday that the group has sent a letter to the ICC urging it to investigate.

Media reports say that Russia has used private contractors often in eastern Ukraine, Syria and Africa to advance its interests. But Russian law criminalizes mercenary activities, depriving private contractors of the ability to protect their rights and obtain due benefits.

Asked about the move, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the issue isn’t on the Kremlin’s agenda.

Shabayev said the veteran group’s previous demands to legalize private security companies have been stonewalled by the government.

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