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Ukrainian army deserter flees to Russia seeking political asylum — source

November 14, 2016, 18:18 UTC+3 ROSTOV-ON-DON

The man stated that he had deserted the Ukrainian army because he did not want to fight against his own people

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© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

ROSTOV-ON-DON, November 14 /TASS/. Border guards in Russia’s southern Rostov region have arrested a Ukrainian deserter who refused to fight against civilians in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), a police source told TASS.

"A Ukrainian Armed Forces private, Yevgeny Sergiyenko, was recently arrested on the (Ukrainian-Russian) border. He told investigators that he had never tried to go into hiding but had internationally used a roundabout way to avoid a checkpoint in order to be able to surrender to Russian border guards," the source said.

He stated that he had deserted the Ukrainian army because he did not want to fight against his own people in the DPR and LPR. He also said he would seek political asylum in Russia," the source stressed.

Sergiyenko told TASS that it was easy to desert his army unit stationed near Kharkov, eastern Ukraine. "I do not want to fire at my own people. I did not want to fight and I knew in advance that I would run away. Heavy drinking and unruliness were common in the military unit in Bashkirovka where I served. I calmly got up and escaped through unguarded areas," Sergiyenko said.

He used buses and went through wooded areas to bypass checkpoints. Finally, he reached the Melovoye village and asked the locals how to cross to the Ukrainian-Russian border. Sergiyenko said that he had voluntarily surrendered to Russian border guards. According to the source, police were carrying out a background check on the deserter.

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