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Ukraine’s interior ministry says it is working with Tornado battalion gunmen

June 21, 2015, 17:06 UTC+3 KIEV
"It has been decided to redeploy the personnel," the press service said
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KIEV, June 21. /TASS/. Ukraine’s interior ministry officers and psychologists are working with the personnel of the notorious Tornado battalion, the ministry’s press service said on Sunday.

"It has been decided to redeploy the personnel," the press service said.

"The situation is under the interior ministry’s control. Our key task is to calm down the population," Deputy Interior Minister Sergei Yarovoi said, adding that measures were being taken to fulfil the minister’s order to disband the battalion. "Investigative and search actions are underway," he said.

The Ukrainian interior ministry and prosecutor general’s office detained Tornado patrol company commander Ruslan Onishchenko and several Tornado gunmen who were suspected of committing grave crime in the Lugansk region. Tornado’s personnel included more than 40 men with previous criminal record.

On June 17, Ukraine’s interior ministry and the prosecutor general’s office detained seven Tornado servicemen and the battalion patrol service commander Ruslan Onishchenko on charges of plunder, torture, murders, rapes and a number of other crimes.

Following their arrest, head of the Lugansk military civil administration Gennady Moskal urged Ukraine’s interior and defence ministries to disarm the Tornado and Chernigov battalion. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on June 18 the Tornado battalion taking part in the force operation in southeastern Ukraine had been disbanded. After that, Tornado gunmen reinforced their base and said they were ready to use weapons against Ukrainian police.

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