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Published in Stream:
Day 940: September 14, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Lugansk Police Arrest Ukrainian Army Deserter, Linked By Some To Fatal Attack On Comrades
5 years
Heavy Shelling Last Night In Donetsk And Gorlovka Areas Puts Paid To Any Talk Of Ceasefire
Ukrainian Officials Deny Reports That Russian Jets Flew Over Donetsk Today

On Monday evening we reported that two Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and five wounded in fighting near Stanitsa Luganskaya, a government-held town on front line northeast of separatist-held Lugansk city.

At the time, the Ukrainian military said that a diversionary and reconnaissance group of Russian-backed fighters had attacked their position.

But this afternoon police in the Lugansk Region announced that they had arrested a 41-year-old Ukrainian soldier on the orders of the Ukrainian military prosecutor.

According to the police press office, the soldier, was a deserter, "suspected of having carried out a serious crime."

Some Ukrainian media outlets, such as Novosti Donbassa, suggest that this individual may in fact be the true perpetrator of the attack on Monday evening, September 12.

Last night, Dumskaya, a news site based in Odessa, the home of the 28th Independent Mechanized Brigade whose soldiers were the victims that evening, reported, citing their own sources, that the official story of the incident was false.

Instead, Dumskaya said, a deserting Ukrainian soldier had fired on his comrades and was now being sought. Military counter-intelligence, the report claimed, was not excluding the possibility that the deserter was linked to a Russian-backed "terrorist organization." 

Earlier today the 112 news channel reported that Nikolai Kolesnik, a member of the Kryvyi Rih (Krivoy Rog) city council and former commander of the Kryvbas Battalion, had identified the killer.

In a post that has since been deleted but was saved as a screenshot by 112, Kolesnik gave the deserter's name as Viktor Anatolyovich Golovan, aged 41:

Set as default press image
2016-09-14 15:03:16

Kolesnik claimed that Golovan had been heavily armed, using grenades. 

The photo, without the name and details of the attack, remains on Kolesnik's page

112 reports that both Kolesnik and deputy police chief Vadim Troyan later wrote on Facebook that the killer had been detained.

A third source, volunteer Roman Donik, reported the same, again naming the detainee as Golovan. 

Both Donik and the Lugansk police reported that the suspect had been detained near the site of the crime.

So far, there has been no official announcement explicitly linking the attack on Monday night to today's arrest.

-- Pierre Vaux