11:30 18.06.2015

Luhansk Governor Moskal asks for disarming 'Tornado', 'Chernihiv' battalions

2 min read
Luhansk Governor Moskal asks for disarming 'Tornado', 'Chernihiv' battalions

Luhansk region military-civilian administration head Hennadiy Moskal has asked Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff Chief Viktor Muzhenko and National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov to disarm the Interior Ministry's battalions 'Tornado' and 'Chernihiv'.

The regional administration press service reported on Thursday that Moskal had asked to withdraw the battalions from the Luhansk region.

"The 'Tornado' battalion is notorious especially for its outrageous behavior and a string of felonies; it has actually run out of control of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry and the ministry's department in the Luhansk region. They [the battalions] have learned that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the ministry's department in the Luhansk region and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office are documenting their criminal activities and they will be held liable sooner or later, so, they are trying to distract attention by staging 'coal shows' aired by central television channels of Ukraine amongst others," the press service said.

It also reported massive attacks of the militants of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) on servicemen and the civilian population along the contact line in the recent week.

"Instead of focusing on the deterrence of the enemy, certain units of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry have taken the criminal path and are covering their indecent behavior up by presenting themselves as fighters against the 'alleged' contraband. First and foremost, this is true of the 'Tornado' and 'Chernihiv' battalions," the regional administration continued.

"Tornado' does not want to fight and it has never taken part in the hostilities, Moskal said, adding that the battalion "had developed into an organized criminal group or, actually, a gang involved in abductions, murders, rapes, assaults, robberies, thefts and other crimes."

The military prosecution service detained last week twelve members of the 'Tornado' battalion, including commander Ruslan Onishchenko who escaped to Dnipropetrovsk. "The middle ranking commanders responded to the 'purge' with barring detectives from the battalion premises situated near Lysychansk, barricading themselves in and warning that they would use firearms against officers of the police and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office," the press service reported.

"Tensions are flaring, 'Tornado' battalion fighters have 'circled their wagons' and placed into positions the weapons they stole after the hostilities in Debaltseve. This kind of the battalion's behavior threatens normal work of regional residents, the ATO and Ukrainian national security in general," Moskal said.

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