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Court arrests commander of Ukrainian battalion on charges of desertion

September 04, 2014, 3:12 UTC+3 ODESSA
Vitaly Komarov was taken into custody for a term of two months
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY

ODESSA, September 04 /ITAR-TASS/. A district court in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Odessa has arrested the commander of the Prikarpatye battalion on charges of desertion for finking out of the combat operations zone in eastern Ukraine, a spokesman for the local military prosecution office said on Thursday.

According to the spokesman, Vitaly Komarov was taken into custody for a term of two months.

Last week, about 400 soldiers of the Prikarpatye battalion finked out of the zone of combat operations near the town of Ilovaisk. Armed soldiers and officers returned home, to the Ivano-Frankovsk region, by buses and military vehicles. Attempts were made to stop and disarm them in the Kirovograd region. Commander of Ukraine’s land troops Anatoly Pushnyakov arrived there for negotiations with the deserting servicemen, who refused to turn in their weapons and marched further on.

As soon as the battalion arrived in the Ivano-Frankovsk region, the command summoned Vitaly Komarov to Odessa, where he was detained by military prosecutors. A criminal case was opened against him of charges of evasion of military service and in-service dissidence. The man is facing ten years in prison.

According to media reports, Komarov says the authorities are seeking to shift the responsibility for the army command’s defeats in eastern Ukraine onto him.

Infographics Who fights in Ukraine Who fights in Ukraine
The political crisis in Ukraine led to the formation of many armed groups on its territory. Infographics by ITAR-TASS

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