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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 526
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
SBU And Lawyers Deny Claims That Captured Spetsnaz SoldiersHave Been Exchanged
7 years
OSCE Monitor Injured By Blast In Shirokino Yesterday

Last night Russia's reported that two Spetsnaz soldiers - Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev - who were captured in Ukraine on May 16, had been released as part of a prisoner exchange.

The news site cited both an unnamed source in Russian law enforcement and Aleksandrov's lawyer in Kiev, Konstantin Kravchuk.

Today however, both the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and Yerofeyev's lawyer, Oksana Sokolovskaya, deny that the the captives have been released.

Yelena Gitlyanskaya, press secretary of the SBU, wrote on her Facebook page this morning that the story was "another fake."

"We have not exchanged any GRU fighters. They're in Ukraine, awaiting the completion of the investigation and the trial."

Meanwhile Sokolovskaya wrote that the report had "no relation whatsoever to real events."

She added that, "judging by everything, no one has given any comments to the media whatsoever, necessity is the mother of invention."

Mark Feygin, a lawyer for Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian military officer and MP detained by the Russian authorities, suggested on Twitter that the report was disinformation aimed to distract attention on the eve of his client's trial in the Rostov region.

-- Pierre Vaux