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Russian UN employee arrested by Kosovo police released, taken to hospital with ‘heavy head injuries’

Russian UN employee arrested by Kosovo police released, taken to hospital with ‘heavy head injuries’
A Russian member of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is in hospital with serious head injuries after Kosovo police broke his cheekbone with a rifle-butt, despite him being unarmed, his doctor says.

The UN mission’s spokeswoman Sanam Dolatshahi confirmed that Mikhail Krasnoshchekov had been released by police, while details of the injuries sustained during his arrest began to emerge.

He has a head injury and a fracture of the zygomatic bone, which is classified as a serious injury. The injury occurred from a butt strike to the head, although the man was not armed,” Krasnoshchekov’s doctor said.

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Krasnoshchekov sustained the injury as Kosovan special police raided four predominantly Serbian communities in the breakaway region’s north, ostensibly as part of a crackdown on organized crime. The massive campaign involved the use of 73 special vehicles and ended in 23 arrests, according to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Despite the traumatic head injuries, UN Secretary General Farhan Haq announced that the UN worker was in “normal condition” upon release from police custody.

There is no update yet on a second UN mission employee who was also detained.

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The president of the self-proclaimed territory of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, claimed that the detained mission member had “tried to prevent a police action.

The Russian diplomat should theoretically have been protected from detention by his UN employee immunity. After learning of the arrest, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova decried the “outrageous act” as a provocation by “the Kosovo Albanians’ top brass,” and demanded Krasnoshchekov’s immediate release.

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