MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy in Kiev has demanded a meeting of consular staff with Russians Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev detained by the Ukrainian side on May 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
"According to information in Ukrainian media citing Ukraine’s Security Service and Defense Ministry, on May 17 the Ukrainian army wounded and seized nationals of the Russian Federation Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev in the Luhansk Region," the ministry said. "The Ukrainian authorities said these were Russian servicemen."
"The Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation is known to have already reported that the above-mentioned citizens are not active servicemen of Russia’s armed forces," the statement said.
"The Russian embassy in Kiev has demanded a meeting of consular staff with the held nationals of the Russian Federation to render them required assistance in line with norms of international law," the ministry said.
"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.