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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 568
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
SBU Adviser Says Russia Is Not Allowing Contact With Detained Soldiers In Crimea
5 years
2 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed, 2 Wounded As Russian-Backed Fighters Conduct Raids In Eastern Lugansk
Andrei Purgin Released In Donetsk

Yuri Tandit, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), Vasyl Hrytsak, told the 112 television channel last night that Russia is not allowing contact with three Ukrainian soldiers arrested on the Crimean frontier on Saturday.

The Interpreter translates:

"We hope that the Russian Federation will fulfil its obligations and return our lads to us. The circumstances of their disappearance are being thoroughly investigated. We hope that, in the near future, the boys will be returned from occupied Crimea. We are doing everything to ensure their return. We have not been given any kind of contact (with the boys) from the side of temporarily occupied Crimea. We have only recorded that the so-called border guards on the territory of Crimea are, in fact, Russian citizens," he said.

Neither, according to Tandit, has Russia proposed any conditions whatsoever for the return of the soldiers.

"The lads didn't have any weapons with them. They have not committed any crimes against citizens of Russia and they cannot be accused of anything," he noted.

Meanwhile Graham Phillips, a notorious British propagandist for the Kremlin who has participated in ethically indefensible interrogations of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the past, uploaded a video, apparently provided to him by the Russian border service (a branch of the FSB), of the three detainees being questioned.

The men do not appear to have been harmed and, on screen at least (the video contains several cuts), they corroborate the Russian claim that they deliberately swam over to the Russian-occupied side of the frontier to visit Russian troops there.

Of course there is no way of telling from this footage whether there has been any coercion to obtain these statements. 

-- Pierre Vaux