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Ukraine’s pro-Kiev volunteer battalions pose threat to security — Kiev prosecutor

November 10, 2014, 17:18 UTC+3 KIEV
Kiev’s Chief Prosecutor called for ending anarchy and rampancy of crime in Kiev’s streets and stopping the spread of weapons from the conflict-stricken areas in eastern Ukraine
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© EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV

KIEV, November 10 /TASS/. Members of pro-Kiev volunteer military battalions who come to Kiev from eastern Ukraine, where a security operation has been under way since April, are posing a serious threat to the capital’s stability and internal security, Kiev’s Chief Prosecutor Sergei Yuldashev said on Monday.

“They are walking around the city heavily armed,” Yuldashev said.

Any armed person who arrives in the city can be classified as a criminal, especially if such people unite into groups, Yuldashev said in his address, which the Kiev prosecutor’s office has published on its website.

The number of criminal cases involving illegal arms trade has increased 2.5 times to 557 cases since last year, the prosecutor’s office said.

“Thousands of fire arms and cold steel arms pieces, explosives, grenades and cartridges have been discovered and confiscated over that time. Members of volunteer military battalions have committed almost 30 grave and particularly grave crimes over the same period,” Yuldashev stressed.

He called for ending anarchy and rampancy of crime in Kiev’s streets and stopping the spread of weapons from the conflict-stricken areas in eastern Ukraine to other parts of the country.

Last Friday, Yuldashev’s press service issued a statement warning that members of the Aidar volunteer battalion were planning to stage a military coup.

“I believe that they are posing an internal threat. I think you agree that they are unpredictable. They can even stage a military coup,” Yuldashev’s press service quoted him as saying.

Ukraine’s volunteer military battalions are volunteer units under the command of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense. They were created to fight the militias in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics when the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region broke out in spring. Over 5,600 volunteers joined the defense battalions across Ukraine by August and about 7,000 volunteers joined by the end of September.

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