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Ukrainian security service says Luhansk rebels sponsored by Russia

They are funded through a special charity fund.

Ukrainian security service says Luhansk rebels sponsored by Russia

Employees of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have uncovered how the self-proclaimed Luhansk people's republic (LPR) is funded by the Russian government, the SBU's press service has said.

According to it, "the LPR budget" expects to receive over 11bn roubles in January-March 2017.

"The warlords have managed to collect two thirds only. They expected to receive the remaining sum in financial assistance from the Russian government while the 'LPR people's council' had its budget draft approved by Russian ministries," the SBU said in a statement.

The SBU said that money arrived through the Fund for Support of International Humanitarian Projects charity (its president is Russian national Vladimir Igorevich Pashkov). The fund registered in late 2015 was founded by Moscow-based International Transfers Bank (Mezhdunarodnyy Raschetnyy Bank).

The SBU established that the fund makes transfer through the accounts of Centre for International Accounts NGO directly to the so-called LPR State Bank. The LPR people's militia received over 820m roubles and the LPR MGB almost 100m roubles.

The SBU said that a large part of this amount is used for propaganda to discredit Ukraine. The LPR propaganda budget is almost 30m roubles.

On 21 February, the SBU said it had exposed several groups working on orders from the Russian special services to destabilize the situation in Ukraine.