Interior Ministry has evidence of Shoigu's involvement in arming militants - Heraschenko
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has information about the involvement of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in the transfer of weapons to members of illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine, and is checking reports of his participation in the transfer to DPR militants of a Buk air defense missile system, which, according to the Ukrainian side, was used to shot down a Malaysia Airlines plane.
The interior minister's adviser, Anton Heraschenko, said at a briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday that the Interior Ministry has irrefutable evidence of Shoigu's involvement in "direct actions on the transfer of weapons to DPR and LPR terrorists - Grad launchers, tanks, artillery etc."
"At present we are checking the reports it was Mr. Shoigu who coordinated the transfer of Buk-M1 air defense missile systems for terrorists, so that they could shoot down Ukrainian planes, but as we know, this has led to the tragic crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane," Heraschenko said.
"Mr. Shoigu, according to the latest reports, has full control over the entire supply of weapons, coordination of different groups of terrorists," he said.
He said that this was due to the fact that the previous system to manage militants in Ukraine had shown its ineffectiveness.
"Previously, some groups of terrorists were led by the FSB, and others by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Now the decisions have been made that all of the terrorists will be led by Mr. Shoigu," Heraschenko said.
Earlier, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that the main investigation department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry had opened criminal proceedings against Shoigu and businessman Konstantin Malofeyev under Part 5, Article 260 (the creation of paramilitary or armed groups not envisaged by law) and Parts 3, 5, Article 27 (complicity in crime) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.