Tuesday, November 22 2016 20:30 EET
Ukraine
SBU releases video where two defectors – former Ukrainian servicemen - captured at Crimea border
SBU, video,  defectors,  Ukraine, servicemen,  Crimea, border, Russia, Chonhar checkpoint, Army, Vasyl Hrytsak,

In the course of a special operation of the Counterintelligence Department of the Security Service of Ukraine two former Ukrainian servicemen who broke the oath and defected to the Russian Army were detained, SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak said during a briefing.

“Defectors were detained near the Chonhar checkpoint, at the administrative border of occupied Crimea”, he stressed. SBU received information that the traitors attempted to conduct corruption scheme and illegally get certain documents in the Ukrainian territory for financial gain. They came to the Chonhar checkpoint, where the meeting with the carrier was to take place. By monitoring the moving of the carrier the law enforcers located the traitors. They were detained by the SBU officers during their stay in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.

“Former Ukrainian servicemen knew that in 2015 criminal cases against them on charges of high treason were launched. Final classification will be made by the investigators but the criminals as other servicemen who betrayed the state face up to 15 years of imprisonment”, Vasyl Hrytsak mentioned.

In addition, he once again stressed that the traitors were apprehended near Chonhar checkpoint in the territory under Ukrainian control. Also, according to the SBU Head, “the traitors didn’t plan “fair” exchange of documents for money. They left the cash with the Russian border guard officers. It was planned to draw the carrier into the Russian territory, take the documents and hand him over to the FSB”. The two detained defectors were passed over to the military prosecutor’s office. Investigative actions are in progress.

Also according to the Security Service chief Vasyl Hrytsak servicemen detained  near the border with Crimea might theoretically be included in hostage exchange lists, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

"It's hard for me to answer. Everything can happen in theory. But their future will be determined first by the investigator, in line with the Criminal Procedure Code [...] and then by a court," Hrytsak said at a news briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday, when asked whether these people could be included in the exchange lists.

At the same time, Hrytsak confirmed that the servicemen, suspected by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies of desertion, produced Russian passports once they had been detained.

Some Russian Federation Council members had suggested earlier that the Ukrainian Security Service abducted the two Russian servicemen on the Crimean border so as to exchange them for Ukrainian citizens.

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