The Mission of Ukraine to the EU made available today (16 April) information supporting what appears to be obvious: that Russian special forces are behind the actions of the paramilitary taking control of several cities in eastern Ukraine, whose uniforms have no national insignia. EurActiv publishes the information obtained, without edits.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has valid proof of Russian special-ops troops being deployed on Ukrainian territory. Officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU), currently based in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, directly coordinating insurgents, providing them with financial, material and technical support. Militants are also being coordinated via special communications equipment from the the Russian Federation. For example:

  • Mr. Igor Strelkov a.k.a “Strelok”, identified as GRU staff, directly supervised the militant group on Ukrainian-Russian border on 12-13 April. On 11 April, in vicinity of Slovyansk this group conducted a ferocious and unprovoked attack on two vehicles with civilian license plates, killing one SBU officer and wounding three. During the Crimea crisis Mr. Strelkov worked as assistant on security issues to Sergey Aksionov, the puppet prime-minister of Crimea. In early April, he was relocated for further special operations to continental Ukraine. On multiple occasions he visited Russia’s Rostov-na-Donu and Moscow for instructions.
  • On 11 April, Ukrainian citizen Gontaryov, a leading pro-Russian separatist who participated, among other things in occupation of Donetsk Regional State Administration, dispatched an agent to Russia’s Consul-General. Point of discussion: support of Donetsk and Luhansk separatists.
  • On 13 April, a Russian citizen supervised training and redisposition of armed group of 30 militants from Luhansk to Donetsk region, who were instructed to provide armed resistance to Ukrainian law enforcement.
  • On 13 April, a Russian citizen instructed separatists via phone to deploy defectors among local Ukrainian police to control administrative buildings in Luhansk, to set up checkpoints within city line, to prepare for proclaiming a “Luhansk Republic” and forming a local parliament. Another Russian citizen instructed one of the separatist leaders who occupied the Regional Security Service in Luhansk to prepare for an emergency session of Luhansk Regional and City Councils.
  • Separatists held phone talks with Russian citizens regarding “a person who returned from Moscow headquarters”, “official” and “full Moscow support”, as well as plans of so-called “little green men” to appear in the respective regions on 13 April.
  • On 12 April, a phone conversation was intercepted regarding “a comrade from the Russian general who is here and will be here till the end, and he claims that in case of a shooting, Russian armed forces would enter Luhansk in 40 minutes or 1.5 hours”.
  • In Slovyansk, a professional GRU mercenary was identified who had earlier participated in Georgian events in 2008.
  • Two intelligence and raiding groups of GRU, currently based in Sevastopol, plan to move shortly to Odessa to coordinate the occupation of local administrative buildings.
  • Separatists who occupied administrative buildings in Donetsk region were armed with АК-100 rifles – a model used exclusively by Russian army and special-ops; their ammunition, combat training and tactics are also typical for Russian army and special-ops.
  • As an example, the model of shoes worn by armed insurgents is one manufactured by Butex, Russian enterprise that supplied Russian security agencies and stopped production about 6 months ago.
  • During the last month, 10 Russian spies and raiders who operated in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Odesa and Chernihiv regions were detained.