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Militia source claims Kiev sent up to 300 foreign mercenaries to Donbas conflict zone

December 23, 2015, 16:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to a source in the defense ministry of the unrecognized Donetsk republic, a group of around 100 Turkish mercenaries has arrived in Mariupol
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Ukrainian volunteer servicemen (archive)

Ukrainian volunteer servicemen (archive)

© EPA/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Kiev has redeployed up to 300 foreign gunmen to the cities of Artyomovsk and Mariupol, the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Wednesday citing intelligence data.

A group of around 100 Turkish mercenaries has arrived in Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, to "carry out provocative and sabotage actions at the military and civilian facilities in the coastal zone both in the DPR and Russia," a ministry official told the Donetsk news agency.

The mercenaries have been also redeployed in the Gorlovka direction, he said. "We have information that 200 foreign mercenaries with the insignia of Ukraine’s armed forces have arrived in Artyomosk (to the north of Donetsk)," the official added.

Kiev’s mercenaries speak the Polish, Slovakian and Turkish languages, according to the intelligence data.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk republic’s defense ministry has repeatedly said that foreign mercenaries were seen in the Donbass conflict zone fighting on the side of the Ukrainian military.

On November 12, a law came into force in Ukraine legalizing the use of mercenaries in Ukraine’s army. An explanatory note for the document says the goal is to "increase the Armed Forces combat capability and reduce Ukraine’s human and financial losses resulting from combat actions in eastern Ukraine."

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