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Ukrainians held hostage by PKK militants in Iraqi Kurdistan over arms trafficking scam

Al-Monitor sheds light on how two Ukrainian men were taken hostage by a Kurdish militant group that was scammed by Ukrainian crooks in a million dollar plus arms trafficking deal.
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels man a security checkpoint on Oct. 28, 2009 near a PKK base in the Qandil mountains, near Rania province, in northern Iraq.
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KYIV — On a recent morning in Schevchenko Park in central Kyiv, Ukraine, a tall man wearing dark sunglasses, a black crew neck jumper and matching shoes draws on a Sobranie cigarette, distinguishable by its signature gold foil filter as he scans the crowd. The scene feels like something out of a Cold War spy thriller, and the saga in which he’s enmeshed is the stuff of one too.

Yevgeny Fomenkov, 47, a self-described “Robin Hood,” was held captive along with fellow Ukrainian Alexander Sanpiter, 46, by militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan for three and a half years until they were freed in December 2020.

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