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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 455
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukraine Presents Russian Sniper Rifle Taken From Captured Soldiers, Will Charge Them With 'Terrorism'
7 years
Ukraine To Present 'Captured Russian Soldiers' To Media
U.S. Senior Diplomat Victoria Nuland Says Minsk Ceasefire Violated Daily

The Ukrainian military has given a press conference in Kiev on the Russian soldiers captured yesterday near Schastye.

During the press conference the defence minister, Viktor Muzhenko, introduced the commander of the 92nd Brigade, Viktor Nikolyuk, who had led the operation that resulted in the soldiers' capture.

Nikolyuk presented the audience with a weapon that he said had been seized from one of the two captives, Yevgeny Yerofeyev.




Nikolyuk and Muzhenko identified the weapon as a Vintorez sniper rifle. A comparison of these photos with ones of a VSS Vintorez suggest this claim is accurate:


This is significant as, while the Vintorez is not in service with Ukrainian forces, it is issued to Russian Spetsnaz units.

Indeed, unmarked Russian special forces were photographed carrying Vintorez rifles during the invasion of Crimea last year


A Russian soldier carrying a VSS Vintorez rifle, fitted with a sniper scope, near Belbek airbase in Crimea.

Nikolyuk said that the Russian soldiers had been captured during a battle on the edge of Schastye, at a strategically important bridge over the Seversky Donets river, along which runs the demarcation line.

The commander said that three Ukrainian soldiers had been wounded and one killed.

A man who introduced himself to the audience as a deputy head of the Presidential Administration claimed that Yerofeyev had attempted to shoot his Ukrainian captors but his gun had jammed. 

Furthermore, the Ukrainians alleged that Russian troops had fired on the Ukrainians as they removed their wounded prisoners from the battlefield, knowing that they were shooting at their own men. According to the military, their aim was to destroy any evidence of their presence.

Meanwhile LIGABusinessInform reports that Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), has announced that the captured soldiers will be charged with terrorism.

According to Nalyvaichenko, the men "must answer to article 258 of the Criminal Code - terrorist activities and terrorist crimes."

-- Pierre Vaux