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Russian court arrests five Ukrainian servicemen suspected of crimes against civilians

August 08, 2014, 21:04 UTC+3 ROSTOV-ON-DON

They are suspected of using prohibited means of warfare and shelling the Russian territory

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ROSTOV-ON-DON, August 08, /ITAR-TASS/. The Krasnosulinsky district court in Russia’s southern Rostov region arrested five Ukrainian officers on Friday. They are suspected of using prohibited means of warfare and shelling the Russian territory, the court said.

The officers including battalion commander of Ukraine’s 72 mechanized brigades Ivan Voitenko, his deputy Vitaly Dubinyak, tank battalion commander Alexander Polyakov, battalion chief of staff Alexander Okhrimenko and company commander Dmitry Ustilko crossed the Russian border together with more than 400 Ukrainian servicemen on August 3.

All of them, according to investigators, admit the fact of using various weapons but they have denied using it against peaceful civilians.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesperson for the Russian Investigation Committee, said on Friday that the servicemen from Voitenko’s battalion testified he had ordered the use of heavy offensive weapons against the towns of Krasnopartizansk and Krasnodon in the Lugansk region that lasted from July 19 to August 3.  As a result, at least ten civilians were killed or wounded.

Investigators are also checking information on whether the 72nd motorized brigade used phosphorous bombs against civilians and was linked to shelling the Russian territory.

Earlier on Friday, Markin said the detained Ukrainian servicemen could hardly have imagined when they were heading to carry out a punitive operation in Eastern Ukraine in nationalistic frenzy that they would have to answer for their crimes sooner or later.

“Instead of jubilations on Maidan in their honor and all the promised (military) decorations, they will face a trial, a sentence and ultimately a fair punishment,” Markin stressed.



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