A June 22 photo from the Donetsk region city of Siversk shows a Kalashnikov-carrying separatist identified as Bakhtiyor, a native of Uzbekistan.
Fresh evidence suggests that pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are looking to Central Asia as a potential source of trained military fighters.
A June 22 photograph taken by the Reuters news agency in the Donetsk region city of Siversk shows a Kalashnikov-carrying separatist identified as Bakhtiyor, a native of Uzbekistan.
On June 24, a correspondent with RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service anonymously contacted recruiters for the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR), an unrecognized state in eastern Ukraine and part of the region’s unofficial Novorossia separatist confederation. He was assured that he was welcome and that any problems connected to his foreign citizenship could likely be resolved.
Aleksandr Boroday, ‘prime minister’ of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic at press conference in Donetsk on June 25.
DONETSK — Less than 24 hours after a government helicopter was shot down in eastern Ukraine killing nine, Aleksandr Boroday, prime minister of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said it was not the insurgents who broke the short-lived truce in eastern Ukraine.
Boroday said at a press conference that separatists, including commander of Sloviansk Igor Strelkov (Girkin), stuck to the truce agreements achieved on June 23-24.
“I called Igor Strelkov, who heard about consultations and asked whether we were going to stop shelling. I told him yes, we are stopping it as we have truce,” Boroday said. “In several hours he reached me again and said that he is being shelled. He said that the warfare is going on and he has to respond.”
His account of events is very different from that of the government, though.