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Ukraine names suspects for sabotage at military warehouses in Luhansk Oblast, Czech Republic

by Dinara Khalilova September 29, 2023 4:01 PM 2 min read
An Ukrainian forces helicopter flies over burning military depots in city of Svatove, Lugansk Oblast, on Oct. 30, 2015. (ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation reported on Sept. 29 that it had identified Russian special service employees involved in the cases of sabotage at military warehouses in Ukraine and the Czech Republic in 2014-2015.

The suspects include Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, accused of poisoning the Skripal family in the English city of Salisbury in 2018.

According to a joint investigation by the Bureau and Czech law enforcement, Mishkin and Chepiga "played an important role" in the 2014 blow-up of military depots in the Czech Republic storing aid for Ukraine.

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Russian saboteurs used a similar scheme on Oct. 29, 2015, to cause a fire at a warehouse in Luhansk Oblast's Svatove, which destroyed 76 pieces of military equipment and over 3,000 tons of missiles and ammunition, the Bureau wrote. On that day, three Ukrainian soldiers and one civilian were killed, while Kyiv lost assets worth over Hr 71 million ($1.9 million).

The Bureau charged members of an organized group responsible for the two sabotage operations, which includes former and acting top-level officials within Russia's military.

A Ukrainian citizen who joined Russian proxy forces in Luhansk Oblast in 2014 was also charged, the investigators wrote, adding that he operated a drone that dropped explosives on the Svatove warehouse.

The Bureau also plans to charge 50 more Russian special service officers who "committed sabotage in Ukraine and the EU, and may continue to do so even now" and share their findings with EU's law enforcement agencies.

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