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Senator says Kiev seeks to swap Russian servicemen for Ukrainian saboteurs

November 22, 2016, 16:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Top Ukraine officials may be involved in the abduction of Russian servicemen in Crimea, according to the senator

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Russian servicemen in Crimea were abducted to be exchanged for Ukrainian saboteurs earlier detained in the Black Sea peninsula, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Defense and Security Frants Klintsevich said on Tuesday.

The senator said the abduction of Russian servicemen carried out by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) is "piracy in its ugliest form" and Ukraine top officials may be involved in this. "I do not rule out that there was a rather certain goal of exchanging the abducted Russian military for Ukrainian saboteurs detained in Crimea."

"I think the Ukrainian side has been already notified via particular channels about Russia’s actions if this ugly incident remains unsolved," Klintsevich said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said late on Monday that the Ukrainian Security Service officers had illegally detained Russian contract servicemen in Crimea at about 13:00 Moscow time (10:00 GMT) on November 20 and took them to Ukraine’s Nikolayev Region.

The ministry said further that according to available data, the Ukrainian special services were attempting to fabricate a criminal case against Alexander Baranov and Maxim Odintsov for allegedly committed crimes against Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry does not rule out that psychological and physical pressure will be exerted on the Russian servicemen to obtain necessary confessionary evidence from them.

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