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Kremlin warns against misinterpreting Putin's words on involvement of Russians in Donbas

December 18, 2015, 13:54 UTC+3
"This is absolutely wrong," Peskov said answering a question on whether one could say that there were Russian military specialists in Donbas
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Militia fighters in Donbas

Militia fighters in Donbas

© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Only volunteers from Russia could have taken part in combat actions in Donbas, and other interpretations about alleged presence of Russian military in this region are wrong, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday.

"This is absolutely wrong," Peskov said answering a question on whether one could say that there were Russian military specialists in Donbas. "They [media] interpreted it wrong," the Kremlin spokesman said commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference held on Thursday. Peskov stressed that there could be only Russian volunteers in Donbas.

"It is obvious that if you interpret Putin’s words unbiasedly, you will remember that he talked more than once about our citizens, about citizens of other CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries that go [to the conflict zone] independently. Some of them do not have an occupation, some use their vacation, some go on a leave without pay. There are such people, of course, and they go there [to Donbas]. They are those people who expressed their solidarity with Donbas some time ago, who considered it inappropriate to put up with the fact that Ukrainian Armed Forces started destroying settlements in Ukraine’s south-east," Peskov explained.

"It was a war, and people went there to fight. They shot, took part in combat actions. This is the military sphere," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Peskov noted that there is also another situation when "some people end up in the hands of Islamist recruiters." He reminded that according to special services, more than 2,000 Russian citizens became "victims of ISIL’s [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of IS] extremist brainwashing" and ended up among terrorists.

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