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Volunteer Battalions 'Out of Control' in Donbass - CyberBerkut

02.07.2015 18:01

Ukrainian hackers called CyberBerkut published excerpts from a report by Ukraine's Southern Region Military Prosecutor Pavel Bogutsky, detaining criminal activities of Kiev's so-called "volunteer battalions", units of regular Armed Forces and the Security Service. 

"We have obtained official documents confirming that the so-called volunteer battalions are completely outside Kiev's control. Factually, they have turned into organized crime groups, robbing and killing their own people. In the course of their punitive operations, they have become so accustomed to impunity and all-permissiveness that they feel themselves to be above the law and outside moral code," CyberBerkut hackers note in their introduction to the documents on Tuesday.

The report includes the information on Aidar, Donbass, Chernihiv, Luhansk-1, Kiev-12 and volunteer battalions, most of them under the formal command of Ukraine's National Guard. Bogutsky's 80-page-report shows that over the past months, the battalions in the area of the Lugansk Region under Ukrainian control have committed over 200 crimes, such as armed assaults, robberies, kidnapping and murders.

The report also says some battalions ignore the orders of National Guard commanders. "In his report, deputy Chief of the Eastern Operational-Territorial Associations of the National Guard for Work With Personnel V.P. Pylypenko reports that the command of the Azov battalion does not comply with, and sometimes deliberately ignores the orders of the leadership of the National Guard," CyberBerkut comments.

The documents show that personnel from the Ukrainian Security Service is also "actively engaged in criminal activity. Whether by their own initiative of under secret instructions, they kidnap people viewed as objectionable to the regime in Kiev. Relevant appeals by citizens have been made to Deputy Southern Region Military Prosecutor K. Ignatov," the hackers cite a document by Ignatov asking to check on the SBU's activities in the Dnipropetrovsk Region.

Finally, Bogutsky's report also documents cases of armed clashes between the volunteer formations and units of the National Guard, with one document showing a National Guard commander asking that his troops be awarded medals for their detention of Aidar Battalion militants.