The servicemen of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) detained a former militant of the Luhansk People’s Republic who confirmed the presence of Russian troops in the separatist-held territories of the Donbas, as reported on the SBU website.
The operatives of the SBU have determined that the unnamed man from Kharkiv joined illegal armed groups in April 2017. He served in one of the separatist battalions in the occupied Alchevsk as a driver-mechanic for a BMP infantry fighting vehicle. He participated in the hostilities near the line of demarcation.
In June 2018, the man decided to leave the ranks of the separatist military due to pressure from separatists, and returned to the Kharkiv region, where he was detained.
During interrogation, he told the SBU about the involvement of Russian troops in the armed conflict in the Donbass. According to him, Russian troops are stationed in the so-called "second echelon" along the line of contact and provide fire support to the insurgents with heavy weapons. In addition, the Russian officers oversee the activities of armed units of terrorists.
The man said that his main motive, as well as that of most of the separatists, was to join the ranks of the militants for money. But according to him, half of the separatist unit leaders are people with criminal records. Material resources and ammunition are often simply stolen.
Criminal cases have been opened under Part 1 of Article 110 of the Criminal Code. "The SBU continues to document the crimes of the Russian military in the Donbass, in Syria and other countries for further submission of materials to Ukrainian and international courts," the message states.
Recently, the Ukrainian military also detained an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who had defected to the LPR.