LUGANSK, March 10. /TASS/. The state security ministry of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine has evidence of the Ukrainian armed forces’ role in the recent murders of a self-defense commander and a militia chief, the ministry’s head Leonid Pasechnik said Friday.
"There are all reasons to believe that the murder of Mikhail Tolstykh, the commander of the Somalia battalion known under the nick ‘Givi,’ was orchestrated by the counter-intelligence department of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and carried out by members of the eighth special-purpose regiment," Pasechnik said.
According to the official, the SBU has set up a special unit to "organize subversive and terrorist activities in the (self-proclaimed) republics and on the territory of Russia."
"Those people bear direct responsibility for this crime, as well as for other crimes, committed in LPR, DPR and in the Russian Federation, for example in Crimea," he said.
According to the LPR state security ministry, a total of four groups of 12-17 members each have been deployed in the Kiev-controlled town of Starobelsk and are tasked with carrying out subversive acts in the self-proclaimed territories.
He said the head of the SBU counter-intelligence department, Col. Anatoly Sandursky, "personally ordered to eliminate" Oleg Anashchenko, a department head at the LPR people’s militia, who was killed in a car blast in Lugansk on February 4.
Four days later, another high-profile murder took place in another self-proclaimed republic, DPR. Mikhail Tolstykh, 36 at the time of his death, was killed on February 8 by a shot from a Shmel antipersonnel flamethrower. Members of the republic’s operational command say the assassination was obviously committed by the Ukrainian secret services. They also said Zoryan Skiryak, an advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, might be involved in it. The Office of the Donetsk republic’s Main Military Prosecutor ordered a criminal investigation of the assassination.