3 May 2018 11:42

Kyiv said Ukrainian soldier missing in Donbas took militia's side because of debts

KYIV. May 3 (Interfax) - A Ukrainian serviceman, who went missing after attack on Ukrainian army positions near Shyrokyne in the Mariupol sector on Wednesday, crossed the contact line and joined the enemy because of large debts, the press center of the combined forces' operation said on Facebook on Thursday.

An inquiry into the serviceman's disappearance revealed that he deserted the combat position while a platoon stronghold located nearby was under attack, passed from the field of vision of fellow troops, and crossed the contact line, the press center said, adding that the desertion was caused by debts of tens of thousands of hryvni.

Ukrainian intelligence said the enemy's security services "are coercing the serviceman into giving a public interview for the purpose of discrediting the combined forces and the marine brigade," the press center said.

"The combined forces are accomplishing their combat missions in strict compliance with Ukrainian laws and international humanitarian norms," it said.

The press center reminded the deserter that "punishment would be unavoidable."