17:15 Aug. 3, 2016
Hired in 2014, man of Caucasian descent took part in hostilities in the Donbas warzone
Ukraine's Security Service (the SBU) and military officers detained two militants in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, in eastern Ukraine the SBU reports.
One of the detainee is a foreign mercenary, who is apparently of a Caucasus descent.
He was arrested in the Luhansk region while he was trying to cross the demarcation line. The militant tried to enter the Ukraine-controlled territory near the village of Stanytsya Luhanska.
Ukraine's police officers searched him and seized a passport of a Caucasian region citizen, a migration card issued by relevant Russian authorities, and a military ID granted by the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic.
According to the detainee, he was recruited in the spring of 2014 while he stayed in Crimea, Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula which was illegally annexed by Russia. Since then he served in ranks of Russian-backed militants, in various armed formations of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic.
The detained mercenary says (with a strong Caucasian accent): "I was in Crimea in March, 2014. There I met some guy, nicknamed as Botsman (Boatswain). He hired 10-12 people there, I was one of those he recruited. We were transported to the Luhansk region through Rostov (the Russian city). We immediately took up arms and... I was in Luhansk on April 24, 2014. (...) We were sent to Krasnodon (now the militant-held town in the Luhansk region), we were given guns and deployed to some village where the hostilities broke out. We fought there for a week. Then we were transported by cars to the village of Khorosheye (now the militant-held town in the Luhansk region). (...) I can tell you what's going there (the Luhansk region), how (Russia) deploys weapons there. I want to save people. When you listen to all the lies spread by the Russian TV, you can't just put up with it...".
The other detainee (Ukraine's resident) says: "I am urging all those serving in the ranks of militant republic (the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics) to lay down weapons and go back home to their families".
Ukrainian officials also seized reports describing the detainee's 'heroic deeds' during clashes with Ukrainian military units. This serves as a proof that he was involved in fighting against Ukrainian troops in the conflict zone in the Donbas region.
For some time the detained militant held the 'rank of major' and led a platoon of the militant unit 'Ghost', Ukraine's intelligence agencies report.
The SBU opened a criminal proceeding (creation of a terrorist organization).
The detainee's passport and the report proving that he was involved in hostilites in the Donbas region. Photo courtesy - Ukraine's Security Service (ssu.gov.ua)
The other militant, who served in the ranks of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, was arrested in Kramatorsk (Ukraine-controlled city), in the Donetsk region.
He is a local (Ukrainian) resident who voluntarily joined the ranks of Russian-backed militants. From May 2014 to January 2015, he was in charge of the border checkpoints in Makiyivka and Donetsk.
The militant illegally checked out documents of those crossing the demarcation line and inspected their vehicles.
Later, he, fearing for his life, abandoned the militant ranks and returned to his familiy (in the Ukraine-controlled territory), where he was hiding from justice.
Criminal proceedings were launched. Pre-trial investigation is underway.