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Russian Defense Ministry hopes Ukraine will release two former Russian servicemen

May 18, 2015, 21:32 UTC+3
A ministry spokesman said the Russian nationals captured by the Ukrainian Security Service in the Luhansk region on May 17 were not servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces at the moment of detention
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Russian Defense Ministry building in Moscow (archive)

Russian Defense Ministry building in Moscow (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Karpov

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry hopes Ukraine will be judicious enough to release former servicemen detained by the Ukrainian Security Servive, the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

"We have been informed about the joint show staged today by Ukraine’s General Staff and the Security Service dedicated to the alleged detention of two Russian soldiers in the Luhansk region," he said. "The two Russian nationals, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, who were captured by the Ukrainian Security Service in the Luhansk region on May 17, were not servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces at the moment of detention."

First deputy commander of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic's militia Sergey Kozlov was earlier reported saying the republic insists on Kiev’s immediately releasing Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev.

"In line with provision six of the Minsk agreements that were signed by the Ukrainian president and with an aim of avoiding further escalation of the situation in the region, we demand immediate release of our militias, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev," he said. "Mistreatment of our will not be left without consequences."

He stressed that LPR’s militias "have always been humane towards all captives." "I would like to stress that I am speaking not only about servicemen of the Ukrainian army but about soldiers of Ukrainian punitive battalions, including foreigners. We offered emergency assistance to all of them and let them return home," he said.

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