Russia accuses Ukrainian Security Service of kidnapping of two Russian soldiers in the Crimea

Interfax has reported that the Russian Defense Ministry has accused the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) of illegally detaining two Russian servicemen, and then transporting them out of the Crimea.

“At approximately 1pm on the 20th of November, employees of the SBU illegally detained two Russian soldiers, warrant officer Maxim Odintsov and junior sergeant of contract service Alexander Baranov, and transported them out of the Crimea to the Mykolaiv region,” the Russian agency said.

The ministry accused the SBU of yet “another gross provocation” and demanded “an immediate return of the ‘kidnapped’ servicemen to the territory of the Russian Federation”.

“According to some reports, the SBU are attempting to fabricate charges against Odintsov and Baranov for alleged crimes committed against Ukraine. Psychological and physical pressure will be exerted on the soldiers in order to obtain the ‘necessary’ confessions,” the ministry continued.

It was previously reported that a Russian court in the Crimea arrested two Ukrainians and accused them of organizing “acts of sabotage” against objects of infrastructure in the annexed territory.

On the 10th of November, the Federal Security Service of Russia announced the arrest of members of a “subversive group” in Sevastopol. Two of the three detainees, Dmitry Shtyblikov and Oleksiy Bessarabov, are experts at the Nomos analytical center. The center was doing work in Sevastopol until the beginning of 2014. The third detainee is a captain of the second rank and a reservist, Volodymyr Dudka.