17:17 07.08.2017

Russian special forces preparing provocations using patriotic rhetoric in Ukraine

Human rights activists and veterans of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine have warned about provocations by Russian special forces during various protests staged in Ukraine.

"Our job is to warn people. Many people think that [Russian] special forces only recruit agents and stage protests with Russian slogans. But now provocations using patriotic rhetoric are being planned," Yevhen Chepeliansky, chairman of the Syndicate human rights group, said during a press conference held at the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Monday in Kyiv.

Chepeliansky said before holding protests in Kharkiv people offering assistance contacted activists on social media platforms.

"We started to analyze the situation. These people operate using patriotic rhetoric. But we found out about their links to the Nazhdak organization, which carries out political tasks. We gathered information and reported it to Ukraine's Security Service," he said, adding that law-enforcement agencies have arrested a man, "who confessed that he was supposed to participate in the Syndicate protest near the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) and throw a grenade."

"There was another group of individuals who were tasked with breaking bottles and causing a stir," Chepeliansky said.

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