Lavrov tells Tillerson attempts to exert pressure on Russia through sanctions pointlessRussian Politics & Diplomacy June 22, 20:14
Russian war memorial in Poland reopens after renovationWorld June 22, 19:41
Le Bourget air show: Russia clinches contracts for military hardware deliveriesMilitary & Defense June 22, 19:28
Czech president supports idea of referendum on country’s withdrawal from EUWorld June 22, 18:57
Russian fans show fascinating hospitality at 2017 Confederations Cup — renowned pianistSport June 22, 18:32
First days of Soviet Union's Great Patriotic War in picturesSociety & Culture June 22, 18:10
Defense Ministry comments on upcoming Russia-China military exercisesMilitary & Defense June 22, 18:08
Death toll in Afghan terror attack climbs to 34World June 22, 18:04
Russian MP castigates Poland’s decision to demolish Red Army monuments as ‘blasphemous’Russian Politics & Diplomacy June 22, 17:46
MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Some 200 mercenaries from Balkan countries are fighting alongside Kiev troops in eastern Ukraine, a military expert familiar with the situation told TASS on Friday.
"Citizens from certain countries of the Balkan region are participating in an armed conflict in Ukraine," the expert said. US private security firm Academi plays the key role in hiring the mercenaries, he said.
Most mercenaries come from Croatia, and also Kosovo, including the former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, who have an experience in armed actions.
"These mercenaries are mainly acting as part of the so-called volunteer battalions," he said.
"According to some estimates, the overall number of the representatives of the countries of the former Yugoslavia who are fighting on the side of Kiev is around 200," he said.
In September, Amnesty International accused battalion fighters in eastern Ukraine of war crimes, which it said are the result of a failure by the Kiev authorities to bring Aidar and other volunteer battalions under control.