SBU: part of the equipment used to shell Mariupol already on Russian territory


War in Donbas

Article by: Mykhaylo Shtekel
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

The Ukrainian Security Service [SBU] claims that the artillery used to shell Mariupol had retreated behind the Russian border. A former traffic police officer, citizen on Ukraine, had aided them in aiming for the targets.

The SBU invited the Russian ambassador to familiarize himself with yet more evidence to the presence of Russian citizens in Ukraine and their involvement in the shelling of Mariupol. In addition, the head of the SBU Valentyn Nalyvaychenko invited all the diplomats in the capital of Ukraine to study the documents.

Earlier, the statement made by the head of the SBU was announced by the Minister for Information Policy Yury Stets. According to him, the journalists had to actively report the given facts. Several days ago Stets condemned the ineffective informative work of the Ukrainian media and state institutions.

On Monday, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko published copies of documents belonging to citizens of Russia, such as passports and military identification. According to him, operative SBU groups had already arrested several dozen Russian citizens on suspicion of terrorist activity.

“Forty-one Russian citizen. Some of them were arrested, some received court sentences, ten are still wanted,” Nalyvaychenko announced.

Former policeman confessed to aiming for Mariupol

The head of the SBU published a record of a confession made by the gun-layer who, according to the SBU, had aided the artillery to shell the district of Skhidny in the city of Mariupol. The SBU also claims it was former worker of the traffic police Serhiy Kirsanov. The detainee claimed he had aided the separatists to aim the artillery and communicated with the command of the artillery battery with the call sign ‘Pepel’ [‘Ash’ in Russian].

“Until the end of 2014, I worked for the traffic police and I visually knew where the equipment and SBU personnel were located. I found these places on Google Earth and sent the coordinates via text,” said the detainee. According to him, ‘Pepel’ is an officer of the Russian army.

Nalyvaychenko accuses Russia of killing civilians

SBU investigators insist that the shelling involved Russian multiple-rocket launchers Grad and Uragan, as well as Tulpan mine-launchers. Coordination was done with the help of Belozer stations for satellite communication, which are used in the Russian army. The SBU is currently trying to identify the Russian serviceman with the call sign ‘Gorets’ [‘Highlander’ in Russian] – he was in charge of the shelling in Mariupol. The SBU head emphasized that after the shelling part of the equipment form the four artillery batteries fled to Russian soil, having used a specifically created password, “Ryazan–Astrakhan.”

“The shelling occurred five times under direct orders of Russian officers. Why did they stop shelling  civilian citizens of Mariupol? Because they got information that the OSCE mission had departed for Novoazovsky district, where the Russian artillery clearly acted from. A command is given to the Russian divisions to retreat – all four Grad systems which were used, Tulpans, which were used,” said the head of the SBU.

Nalyvaychenko presented data on Russians who had come to Ukraine to aid the separatists in the East and who had been arrested or who had died in combat. In particular, Russian citizen Andrey Yemelyanov from the city of Tiumen – he died on January 23. The SBU also has information on Russian citizens, Vitaly Portikov from the town of Yurga, Viktor Krivoruchko from Stanitsa Staroninska and others. Nalyvaychenko invited ambassadors from other countries, particularly Russia, to familiarize themselves with the data.

Putin “compliments” Ukrainian volunteers

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of using foreign divisions.

“Volunteer nationalist battalions are essentially not even an army, but a foreign NATO legion which does not pursue Ukraine’s national interests,” Putin claimed, thinking that the volunteer battalions are containing Russia in the geopolitical dimension.

No official condolences were offered in regard to the civilian deaths in Mariupol on the website of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina

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