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Hundreds mourn Ukrainian saboteurs killed in Russia

KIEV (UKRAINE) – Hundreds of mourners filled a Kiev church Tuesday for the funeral of volunteers killed in a sabotage mission in Russia following a series of attacks along the border with Moscow.

Mourners, many in camouflage and with their faces covered, attended a service at a central church for four men – one of them a teenager – who were killed in an incursion into Russia’s southern Bryansk region in December.

The Russian security service FSB announced that it had killed the men, saying they were armed with rifles and explosives. Russian media reported their bodies were handed over this month.

The men’s coffins were draped with the banner of a nationalist battalion called the Bratstvo, or Brotherhood, formed on the basis of a party of the same name.

They belonged to “one of Bratstvo’s reconnaissance sabotage groups, taking part in raids on the enemy’s rear, both in the occupied territories… and on Russian soil,” Brotherhood Party leader Dmytro Korchynsky told AFP outside the church.

“They were killed in one of those raids.”

Korchynsky said the battalion, when in Russia, acts “at its own risk” and does not coordinate with Kiev’s armed forces.

Crowds then came to pay their last respects to the men – 34-year-old Yuriy Gorovets, 32-year-old Maksym Mykhailov, 34-year-old Taras Karpiuk and 19-year-old Bogdan Lyagov – for Kiev’s central Independence Square.

– ‘Blow things up’ –

Officially, the Ukrainian armed forces do not fight against Moscow beyond the country’s borders.

There have been major incidents, however, including an explosion in October on a bridge that Russia had built to annexed Crimea.

Belarusian opposition activists announced in late February that partisans had destroyed a Russian military plane near the capital, Minsk.

Last week Moscow claimed that “Ukrainian nationalists” entered the Bryansk region and killed two civilians, while Kiev dismissed the claim as “a deliberate provocation”.

Korchynsky said Bratstvo conducts various types of operations, including “blowing things up.”

The four men killed “steered past the border guards and pushed deeper into Russian territory, and there they were somehow spotted and engaged in combat with the enemy,” he said.

“The Russians claim that they (the Ukrainians) were surrounded and given a chance to surrender,” he added, calling any refusal to surrender “normal for us.”

Last week Russia reported that a group of Ukrainian fighters had entered the Bryansk region and carried out a “terrorist attack”.

A far-right group of Russian nationalists fighting on the side of Ukraine, known as the Russian Volunteer Corps, claimed on social media that it had invaded the region.

The group, whose leader has been linked to football hooliganism and used to host MMA events, told AFP it would not comment on what happened.

The Russian FSB also this week accused the same group of attempting to assassinate a Kremlin-linked businessman. The group declined to comment.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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