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 "Russia keeps capturing Ukrainian hostages for political bargaining," - Speaker Parubii

Russia is trying to use the recent provocation to intensify attacks against the Ukrainian territory and justify the activity of its own subversive groups.

Censor.NET reports quoting a statement by Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andrii Parubii.

He called FSB's false statements a deliberate provocation and integral part of Russia's hybrid war.

"Russia's propaganda needs this fake to provoke another wave of anti-Ukrainian hysteria in Russia, while the Russian military are trying to use it to step up attacks against the Ukrainian territory and justify the activity of its own sabotage and reconnaissance groups that have repeatedly tried to break through Ukrainian checkpoints in recent weeks," Parubii remarked.

"Russia keeps capturing Ukrainian hostages for political bargaining," he noted.

Read more: Putin's rhetoric indicates end of Minsk accords, - The American Interest

The speaker also stressed that the Kremlin's statement on de facto rejection of talks in the Normandy format proves the fact this provocation is part of political games.

"Unfortunately, Ukrainian citizens have once again become hostages of the Kremlin's policy. We still need to find by whom and how they were transferred to the territory of Crimea. While the purpose of this special operation is obvious - to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine," he pointed out.

According to Parubii, Russia's provocation has failed, and "nobody believes in its rigged facts." "However, all Ukrainian authorities and the public are now facing the issue of immediate release of Ukrainian citizens who have become another hostages of Putin's regime," the politician concludes.

Read more: Defense Intelligence on Crimean provocation: There was a shootout between Russian military and FSB border guards

As previously reported, the situation on the administrative border with the peninsula turned critical early in the morning of Aug. 7. Since that moment, the occupation authorities have repeatedly altered the access mode at three checkpoints, either closing them or resuming their work in full or partially.

A number of Crimean media reported the introduction of Krepost (Fortress) plan aimed at tracking down five camo-clad persons. Eyewitnesses mention checkpoints set up on the main roads with the traffic police and OMON fighters stopping buses and checking passengers. At 4:30 a.m., Aug. 10, the Russian side opened the Kalanchak checkpoint near Armiansk that had been closed since Aug. 7.

On Aug. 10, the FSB released an official statement about averted terrorist attacks in annexed Crimea "prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's MoD in order to target critical life-supporting and infrastructure facilities inside the peninsula." Further on, the FSB released a video with the alleged organizer of the thwarted "terrorist acts" in the occupied Crimea, Zaporizhia region resident Yevhen Panov.

Read more: Situation in Crimea looks ominous, three scenarios possible, - The Guardian

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, said that Ukraine "has switched to the practice of terror."

Putin also said he considered the upcoming Normandy Four meeting to be pointless in the light of the alleged detention of Ukrainian "saboteur" in occupied Crimea.

Putin's puppet of the so-called "parliament" of Crimea Remzi Ilyasov said the occupying authorities perceive the incident "as an act of aggression, in fact, a declaration of war."

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine denied all Russia's allegations, calling them provocative.

National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov described the hysterical and false allegations by Russia's FSB as groundless and called them another element of Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine and an attempt to exacerbate the situation in the occupied territory.

The Ukrainian MoD has refuted the FSB's allegations on the involvement of Ukraine's intelligence in subversive activities in Crimea and called them an attempt of the Russian Federation to justify its aggression in the territory of the annexed peninsula.

President Petro Poroshenko said that the Russian allegations are groundless and serve as "a pretext for more military threats against Ukraine."

Read more: US Department of State on Russia's allegations on Crimea: "Real issue is Russia's occupation of Crimea and continued aggression in eastern Ukraine"

Spokesperson to the U.S. Department of State Elizabeth Trudeau said that the Russian Federation's recent allegations on Ukraine's involvement in "subversive activities" in Russian-occupied Crimea should not distract the United States from the real issue Russia has created in Ukraine.

On Aug. 11, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko instructed that all the units deployed at the administrative border with Crimea and the demarcation line in the Donbas be on high alert.

Ihor Kotelianets, Panov's brother, claims Yevhen was kidnapped in Ukraine's Zaporizhia region and taken to the occupied peninsula.

According to Ukraine's Defense Intelligence, none of its employees has been detained by the FSB to date in the territory of occupied Crimea.

The police have qualified the fact of Yevhen Panov's disappearance reported by his relatives as a criminal offence under the article 146 (illegal deprivation of freedom or abduction) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group Iryna Herashchenko says Yevhen Panov has become another kidnapped Russian hostage who Ukraine will have to liberate.
 
 
 
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