LUGANSK, May 23, 4:44 /ITAR-TASS/. A spokesman for people’s militia in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic appeared at a news conference on Thursday to claim that Ukraine’s Right Sector militants had shot 30 conscript soldiers for laying down arms and defecting to the local civilians. The spokesman, Ostap Cherny, said the incident occurred during talks between the LPR militia and government forces in the town of Privolye.
“On Thursday, we got word from Lisichansk the army was trying to storm the city. We dispatched a group for talks,” he said. “A column of Ukraine’s national guards was blocked from behind by civilians, including women and children.”
“While the talks proceeded, shots began to be fired and seven members of the Lugansk militia were killed and sixteen others injured,” Cherny said. “Thirty men from the Ukrainian brigade laid down arms and defected to civilians. According to the latest information available, Right Sector militants shot them all.”
The spokesman said “the people were in an open field and nobody was hiding when the lethal shots were fired.”
“The ensuing shootout lasted for about half an hour. Mortar shells were exploding and homes were set on fire,” the LPR militia’s spokesman said.
He claimed that eleven armoured vehicles of Ukraine’s National Guard were involved in the clash.
“We have detained the commander of one of the vehicles. He had been abandoned by his own forces,” Cherny said.