As many as 40,000 Russian military personnel and mercenaries recruited by them oppose the Ukrainian army in Eastern Ukraine, stated Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in an interview with Liga.net.
“The total number [of militants in the Donbas] which we identify at present is between 39 and 40 thousand. This is the total military group,” he said.
Muzhenko clarified that these were regular Russian military personnel as well as militants hired by them.
“For example, according to the information of the detained Russian contractor Ageyev, in the division he served in, roughly 30% were regular Russian military personnel,” he said.
As reported, on June 24 a sabotage and reconnaissance enemy group was destroyed on the front line in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the deaths of two militants, including a Russian citizen.
Later the General Staff announced that the enemy group had been led by regular Russian officer Captain Alexander Shcherbak.
In addition, Russian contract soldier Viktor Ageyev was captured and imprisoned.