Ukraine forces capture two Russian officials

Ukraine’s military says its forces arrested two Russian servicemen in eastern Ukraine

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Ukraine arrested two Russian officials in eastern Ukraine during fighting in the region, said a Ukrainian military spokesman on Sunday.

Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the the Ukrainian military, said that two Russian servicemen have been captured in the east of the country during an ongoing conflict between separatists and the Ukrainian officials.

“Two Russian servicemen are under arrest-  our investigators are working with them,” said Lysenko.

Ukraine’s Aidar volunteer battalion claimed responsibility for the captured two Russian servicemen on its Facebook page.

Aidar Battalion is a volunteer military division of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence which has around 400 members and is currently fighting in Eastern Ukraine.

Lysenko also said that three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 17 were wounded within the last 24 hours.

Two soldiers were killed in an area nearby the town of Debaltseve and the third was killed close to the town of Shchastya, Lysenko said.

Although both parties agreed on a truce earlier this year in February and were required to withdraw heavy weapons from eastern Ukraine, the West and Ukraine have frequently accused Russia of deploying soldiers to the region.

Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of sending forces to help the rebels in eastern Ukraine. However, it has admitted that there are Russian nationals fighting Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions alongside separatists.

Following the latest accusations a report published by the Russian opposition claimed at least 220 Russian soldiers were killed in the war in eastern Ukraine in the past year.

The 64-page report, called “Putin.War,” was originally drawn up by assassinated opposition leader Boris Nemtsov before being completed and published by opposition figures led by Ilya Yashin and released on May 12.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, a leading critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot and killed in central Moscow on Feb 27 while walking on the street less than 200 meters from the Kremlin.

He was returning from an interview where he invited people to a rally against war in Ukraine, which was to be held that weekend in Moscow.

Over 6,200 people have been killed in the fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists, which started in April 2014 after the separatists gained control of large parts of the two regions.

The fighting broke-out one month after Russia annexed Crimea, Ukraine’s southern peninsula.

TRTWorld and agencies