Kyiv denies FSB accusation that Ukrainian paratroopers 'illegally' crossed Crimea border – Tandyt
Ukraine strongly condemns the detention of three Ukrainian paratroopers of the 79th detached air mobile brigade by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) after they allegedly crossed over from mainland Ukraine into Crimea, which is currently occupied by Russia, advisor of the Security Service Chief of Ukraine, Yuriy Tandyt, said.
"In our opinion, what Russia presents us is actually a continuation of their counterpropaganda, which is aimed at displaying events happening here to look straight in another light. But we have a law on right of ownership, that's why under this law Crimea is our territory," he told Interfax-Ukraine on Monday evening.
Tandyt added that the details of the incident are being examined, in particular one of the versions offered by Russia is being verified – "illegal crossing of the contact line with temporarily occupied Crimea."
"Now our task is to do our best to get our guys back. They didn't cross the border, they didn't want to go there purposefully to violate something, or to surrender or to become captives. The guys got there under definite circumstances and we'll do our best to bring them back," he said.
Earlier, the press service of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that early on September 5 three servicemen of 79th detached air mobile brigade – a senior soldier and two soldiers, were missing.
It was subsequently discovered that during the night two vehicles (UAZ and URAL) arrived in the area where the soldiers were last seen from occupied Crimea and possibly illegally detained the Ukrainian servicemen. Weapons, cartridges and documents were left where the unit was positioned.
Yesterday evening, the press service of the FSB border department in Crimea said that three Ukrainian paratroopers were detained after crossing the border in Crimea in the vicinity of Syvash Lake.
"Three Ukrainian servicemen who committed the illegal border crossing were detained by Crimean border guards on the technological dam across the Syvash Lake on September 5. Servicemen from Ukraine said that the decision to communicate with Russian marines, whom they saw many times on another bank of the Syvash Lake, was taken on the eve of the event when they were drinking alcohol. The next morning the Ukrainian paratroopers took a water melon, a piece of lard, alcohol beverages and went fraternizing with them [the Russian marines]," the press release said.