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SBU, DBR expose Russian special forces involved in explosions at ammo depots in Ukraine, Czech Republic

In some cases, they reported directly to the Russian president.

SBU, DBR expose Russian special forces involved in explosions at ammo depots in Ukraine, Czech Republic
Photo: EPA/UPG

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) have identified the command and key personnel of Russia's "elite" special forces who committed high-profile sabotage in Ukraine and the EU.

"Among them are the current commander, Maj-Gen Valery Flustikov, and former Putin's bodyguard Alexei Dyumin, who in 2014 served as the commander of the Russian special forces. Based on the evidence collected, both individuals and 25 other representatives of the Russian special operations forces, as well as their accomplices from among the "l/dnR" militants, were served with a notice of suspicion under Article 113 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (sabotage)," the SBU said.

Because they were involved in "specific" tasks, the special operations forces report to the Chief of the Russian General Staff and, in some cases, directly to Russian President Putin.

On the instructions of the Kremlin, in 2015, representatives of this special service blew up a joint missile and artillery depot of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Svatove, Luhansk Region.

According to the investigation, Russian special forces used a Leyer-3 electronic warfare system with three Orlan-10 drones to blow up the arsenal.

On 29 October 2015, these weapons were moved from occupied Donetsk to the frontline positions of the Luhansk and Donetsk separatists near the town of Pervomaysk. From there, the drones were launched in the direction of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' depot in Svatove. As they approached the facility, Russian drones dropped incendiary grenades equipped with a parachute system. As a result of the attack, the entire stock of ammunition stored there detonated.

The SBU and the DBR, in cooperation with Czech partners, also established the involvement of Russian special operations forces in the detonation of an arms depot in Vrbetice, Czech Republic, in 2014. In this way, the Kremlin was trying to weaken the defence potential of NATO's eastern flank and undermine the internal political situation in Central Europe.

Since the full-scale invasion, saboteurs from the Russian special operations forces have periodically attacked the positions of the Defence Forces in the border areas in the north and east of Ukraine. During these "raids", these subversive groups try to attack the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the State Border Service and blow up their military facilities. Local civilians, their homes and cars are often targeted by Russian saboteurs too.

The explosions at the artillery depot in Svatove were investigated from 2015 to 2021. The investigation blamed the explosions on unknown saboteurs. Two Ukrainian commanders of rocket artillery batteries were tried. They are accused of negligence (Part 3 of Article 425 of the Criminal Code), which led to the deaths of three people and caused damage worth more than UAH 15 million.

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