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Russian mercenaries deploy to eastern Ukraine – sources

FILE {Picture|Photograph}: Alexander Borodai the {Primary} Minister of the {personal} proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ attends a {information} conference in Donetsk, June 21, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists attacked Ukrainian {articles|blogposts} on the border with Russia and a military {foundation|bottom}, {and {attempted} to storm an airforce base {immediately|over night} into Saturday,|saturday and {attempted} to storm an airforce {foundation|bottom} overnight into,} government forces said, {placing} a Ukrainian unilateral ceasefire {under great pressure}. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

December 23, 2021

By Maria Tsvetkova and Anton Zverev

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian mercenaries {possess} deployed to separatist-{managed} eastern Ukraine in {current|latest} {several weeks|days} to bolster defences against Ukrainian government forces as tensions between Moscow and the West {increase}, four sources have {informed} Reuters.

In recent {several weeks|days}, Russia has {relocated|shifted|transferred} {thousands of} {normal} troops to staging {articles} {nearer to} Ukraine and {adopted|implemented} up by {challenging} urgent {protection|safety} guarantees from the West {developed|created|made}, Moscow says, {to avoid} Ukraine {along with other} neighbouring countries {used} as a {foundation|bottom} to {assault|strike} it.

The West and Ukraine {possess} for their {component} accused Russia of weighing {a brand new} {assault|strike} on its southern neighbour {the moment} {the following month}, something Moscow denies.

Russia {took over the} Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and {supported} pro-Russian separatists who seized a swathe of the industrial Donbass {area} of eastern Ukraine that {exact same} year, and {continue steadily to} {battle|combat} Ukrainian government forces there.

Of four {resources}, three described their {gives|presents} from mercenary recruiters {to visit} Donbass. {They {stated|mentioned} the recruiters {didn’t} disclose who they represented.|The recruiters were said by them {didn’t} disclose who they represented.} All four {resources} declined to be {called}, citing fears {for his or her|because of their} safety.

Two of the three {resources} said {that they had} accepted; {the 3rd} said {he previously} refused.

“{There exists a} full house. {They’re} gathering everybody with {fight} experience,” said {among the} two who {approved|recognized}.

He said {he previously} {formerly|earlier} fought in Ukraine and Syria for {sets of} Russian {protection|safety} contractors whose {procedures|functions} have been {carefully} aligned with Russia’s strategic {passions}. He declined {to recognize} the contractors.

The fighter said he was {likely to} {link up} with fellow mercenaries on the Russian {part|aspect} of the border with the separatist-held Luhansk {area} in eastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin says it {offers|provides} {nothing in connection with} private Russian {armed service} contractors whose operatives it describes as volunteers {without} connection to {hawaii}.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov {stated|mentioned}: “It’s {the initial} we’ve {heard about} this and we {do not} know how {dependable} these assertions {are usually}.”

Peskov said {there have been} no Russian {normal} forces or {armed service} advisers in eastern Ukraine {rather than} {have been}, and that Moscow {had not been} considering {delivering} any. Kyiv disputes that and {states} {normal} Russian army forces {can be found}.

SPECIAL {Coaching|Teaching|Education|Instruction|Exercising}

Alexander Ivanov, {head of {the city} of Officers For International {Protection|Safety},|{mind} of the grouped {local community|neighborhood} of Officers For International {Protection|Safety},} a non-governmental {team} representing Russian contractors in the {Main} African Republic, {stated|mentioned} he had “{not just a} {solitary|individual|one} confirmation” that any Russian mercenary {have been} deployed to Ukraine.

Three of the sources said {these were} {unaware} of any {programs} for {a fresh} Russian {assault|strike} on Ukraine or of preparations {that could} suggest one was {arriving}.

{Among the} sources, {a contractor who {has had} part in Russian {procedures|functions} abroad and had {currently} {found its way to} eastern Ukraine,|a contractor who {has had} part in Russian {procedures|functions} and had already {found its way to} eastern Ukraine abroad,} said the deployment {has been|had been} for defensive purposes. {The initial} mercenary said {exactly the same}.


Another {resource|supply} said he {had not been} directly {mixed up in} deployment,|

Another {resource|supply} said he {had not been} {mixed up in} deployment directly,} but was {touching} people {on the floor} {who have been} undergoing special training. {He said {the purpose of} the deployment {has been|had been} what he {known as} sabotage {actions|routines} to undermine {balance} in Ukraine.|{Desire to} was said by him of the deployment was what he called sabotage activities to undermine stability in Ukraine.}

The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) proclaimed its independence from Ukraine in 2014 after separatist fighters took {handle} of a slice of eastern Ukraine. {Supported} by Russia, {its self-proclaimed {standing|position} {is not} recognised internationally.|its self-proclaimed {standing|position} internationally {is not} recognised.} Alexander Borodai, {ex-{primary} minister of the DPR and {mind} of the Union of Donbass Volunteers,|ex-{primary} minister of {the top} and DPR of the Union of Donbass Volunteers,} said his organisation {had not been} {mixed up in} recruitment of any mercenaries for eastern Ukraine.


{Users|People|Associates} of his organisation {possess} {formerly|earlier} fought in Ukraine and Syria.|

{Users|People|Associates} of his organisation {possess} fought {inside} Ukraine and Syria previously.}

“If {so when} it’s {required}, we’ll call people – but {there’s been} no {demand} now,” said Borodai, {{who’s} {furthermore} a lawmaker for Russia’s ruling party,|{who’s} a lawmaker for Russia’s ruling party {furthermore},} United Russia.

Separatist spokesperson Eduard Basurin {stated|mentioned} he knew {nothing at all} of any {current|latest} Russian deployments of {protection|safety} contractors to eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s {armed service} intelligence {support|services|assistance|program|provider} declined to comment, {{as the} state security service {didn’t} reply to a {obtain} comment.|{as the} {constant state} security service {didn’t} reply to a {obtain} comment.}

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Anton Zverev, {extra} reporting by Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv; {Modifying} by Andrew Osborn, Kevin Liffey and Jon Boyle)


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