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Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Rebels Killed At Donetsk Airport Identified As Russians and Chechens
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Obozrevatel' has posted an article claiming that Chechen spetsnaz from Russia's Interior Ministry were fighting for the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic." The article is accompanied by pictures that were evidently found among the personal effects of the fighters killed at the Donetsk Airport yesterday.

The article was also accompanied by a video said to be taken by one of the fighters of his "exploits" in the region, but that video has been removed by Google due to violations of YouTube standards on violence.

Obozrevatel' says (translation by The Interpreter):

Terrorists in the East of Ukraine are supported not only by Chechen mercenaries or "performers on tour" but spetsnaz from the Interior Ministry of Russia. This became known after identification of the fighters who were liquidated during the battle near the airport in Donetsk.

In particular, in the telephone of one of those killed was documentation of his "heroic" journey in the form of photographs and videos. Some of the photos were made in Donetsk from the roof of the airport.

These fighters were also reported to take part in a seizure of a base of the Ukrainian forces in Donetsk, says Obozrevatel'. According to the testimony of eyewitnesses, they lined up the personnel in the courtyard, then brought an Orthodox icon out of the building and demonstratively shot it.

According to Semyon Semenchenko, commander of the Donbass batallion, saboteurs and weapons for the "terrorists" continue to be brought in to Ukraine from Russia.

The pictures claim to show, among other things:

2. Chechen fighter holding up raised first finger, which is said to be a sign adopted by militants in Chechnya meaning "there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet."


4, 9, 10. Men in Russian police uniforms.


7. Photo of the 4th Regiment of the Chechen Republic Interior Ministry with the wolf picture.

13. What appears to be a residence permit for Moscow in a passport, showing it was issued at the Department of Internal Affairs in Lomonosovsky District, Moscow.

We have not independently corroborated these claims.