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Ukraine’s foreign minister accuses Russia of training Islamic State gunmen

September 23, 2015, 1:52 UTC+3 KIEV

Moscow however has repeatedly stressed the necessity to pool efforts to rebuff Islamic State

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KIEV, September 22. /TASS/. Ukraine’ Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin has accused Russia of having trained gunmen for the terrorist group Islamic State.

"Russia knows Islamic State gunmen inside out, their mentality, moreover, it has even trained some," he said in an interview with Ukraine’s Channel 5 while dwelling on Russia’s policy in the Middle East.

Moscow however has repeatedly stressed the necessity to pool efforts to rebuff Islamic State. Thus, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on September 18 that Russia would continue to help Damascus in its fight against the Islamic State terrorists and called on all countries to support the Syrian authorities in their anti-terrorist efforts.

The Islamic State is an Islamic terrorist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it was known under the name the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and operated mainly in Iraq and Syria. In June 2014, the Islamic State announced the establishment of an "Islamic caliphate" (a state with a Sharia form of government) on the territories it had seized and reduced its name to the Islamic State.

According to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group numbers around 30,000 people. The Iraqi authorities say however it has up to 200,000 gunmen. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, U.S., Canada, Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Islamic State militants reportedly control up to 40% of the Iraq’s territory and about 50% of the Syrian territory.

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