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Kiev launches investigation into Aidar battalion’s crimes

March 31, 2015, 16:48 UTC+3 KIEV
The investigation comes following repeated requests of the Luhansk Region’s governor
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Aidar fighters seen in the Luhansk Region (archive)

Aidar fighters seen in the Luhansk Region (archive)

© EPA/TASS/ KONSTANTIN GRISHIN

KIEV, March 31. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry is planning to send troops to the Luhansk region, in the country’s east, to investigate the crimes of the Aidar volunteer battalion, the ministry’s press service said on Tuesday.

The investigation comes following repeated requests of the Luhansk Region’s governor, Gennady Moskal, submitted earlier to the Defense Ministry and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.

"In case these suspicions are confirmed, those guilty will be held responsible," the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier on Tuesday, Moskal presented new facts into the unlawful behavior of the Aidar volunteer battalion members.

The incidents include an attack on a citizen of Lisichansk, a related shooting in the street and a shootout with fighters of a Ternopol battalion in the city, some 90 kilometers from Luhansk.

Such a behavior of the Aidar battalion members in the Luhansk region discredits the Ukrainian troops taking part in the special operation in the country’s east, the governor said.

In early March, the Defense Ministry announced it was disbanding the notorious Aidar battalion said to be out of control and replacing it with regular forces unit under army orders.

Moskal said in his statement that a part of Aidar had long ago defected from the battalion and was engaged in looting, robbery, racketeering, auto theft and other crimes in regions controlled by the Ukrainian side.

An attempt had been prevented to take an arsenal of weapons from the area of combat operations in Donbass to Kiev. The arms were meant for "destabilizing the situation" in the capital, Moskal said.

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