The Federal Security Service of Russia claimed that it stopped the activity of an extremist group in the Crimea created by Erol Veliyev, an assistant to Verkhovna Rada lawmaker and Crimean Tatar Leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, Russian media reports.
According to the Russian special services, the group was established in Kharkiv under the supervision of Refat Chubarov and with the support of the Security Service of Ukraine. Two athletes, former boxers A. Steshenko and A. Tretyakov were named as co-conspirators.
The FSB asserts that it was this group that used bottled incendiary mixtures to set fire to the home of Emirali Ablaev, the Mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea (RAMC) in January 2018. Steshenko was detained in April 2018 when he entered the Crimea. Russia mounted charges against Veliyev and Tretyakov in absentia, who are now included in the federal wanted list.
The Press Secretary of the Security Service of Ukraine, Olena Gitlianska told Krym.Realii that the statements of the Russian FSB are untrue. "We do not comment on another of the FSB's fantasies," she said. Gitlianska has so far refused to provide additional comments on the topic.
After the annexation of the Crimea, the FSB of Russia conducted regular detentions, searches and interrogations of independent journalists, Crimean Tatar activists, opposition and pro-Ukrainian public figures and representatives of religious minorities on the peninsula. Human rights activists claim that these actions are politically motivated.