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MINSK, November 22. /TASS/. The Ukrainian intelligence services carried out a provocation against Russian citizens on Russia’s territory by kidnapping two military servicemen in Crimea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"We believe that was an illegitimate provocation by Ukraine’s intelligence services against Russian citizens on Russia’s territory. Our law enforcement agencies are handling the case," he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that officers of Ukraine’s Security Service had abducted two Russian servicemen in Crimea, warrant officer Maxim Odintsov and junior sergeant Alexander Baranov, who had been taken to Ukraine’s Nikolayev region.
According to some sources, efforts are being made to fabricate a criminal case against these servicemen on charges of alleged crimes against Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry does not rule out that psychological and physical pressure might be exerted on them to have them ‘confess’ what Ukraine needs.
This information was confirmed earlier in the day by a representative of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. "Officers of the Ukrainian Security Service used substitute persons to entice warrant officer Maxim Odintsov and contract service junior sergeant Alexander Baranov into the Dzhankoi checkpoint allegedly for giving them attested documents of receiving higher education at Ukrainian higher educational institutions," the fleet’s representative said.
"Immediately after Maxim Odintsov and Alexander Baranov left the territory of the Russian Federation, the servicemen were detained by representatives of the Ukrainian Security Service and brought to Ukraine’s Nikolayev Region," he added.