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 Detained Russian FSB officers cannot be released as long as Ukrainian captive Panov is tortured in Crimea, - journalist

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The two Russian FSB border guards, who had been detained in the Kherson region on June 30, cannot be sent back to Russia as long as FSB tortures Ukrainian prisoner, ATO participant Yevhen Panov in Crimea.

Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov wrote on Facebook.

Read more: Two Russian border guards captured at illegal crossing of Ukrainian border, - State Border Guard Service Head Nazarenko. PHOTOS

"At night, Ukrainian border guards and Armed Forces fighters in the Kherson region captured two unidentified people who landed the Ukrainian shore in a boat without IDs and military uniforms. During the questioning, the two confessed they are military of Russian FSB and allegedly 'got lost during drills.'

"How can you get lost in Perekopska gulf, it's only several kilometers? Why would you go to 'drills' without IDs - how can you identify people wearing a civilian uniform then? What if they get shot, without IDs? Why would you hold drills at Ukraine's border, not in the rear? You can 'get lost,' can't you? As for me, this is an obvious attempt of saboteurs insertion," he wrote.

Read more: Ukrainian citizen Panov tortured in Crimea, - Foreign Ministry

"FSB has acknowledged the fact its officers have been detained; now they want them back. It used to happen earlier, when Russian military got lost, and our side gave them back - but it happened at border crossings, not in the night on a boat, no IDs. No, this does not look like a mistake, these guys should not be released. On Aug. 8, 2016, Russian FSB kidnapped and took to Crimea former ATO participant, Enerhodar city council member Yevhen Panov," Butusov reminded.

"Since then, Panov has been accused of 'terrorism,' deprived of the right for adequate defense, tortured. To return Yevhen, we should not make any concessions to Russia. The detained FSB servicemen could only be liberated under agreement to free those kidnapped by Russian secret services," Butusov wrote.

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: "They put plastic bag on Panov's head and choked him. His swollen face, lips, and heavy breathing leave no doubts," - journalist on interrogation of Panov

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."

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.

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"

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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