25 Feb 2022 16:46

Russian defense ministry: Ukrainian nationalists blow up bridges to prevent army retreat

MOSCOW. Feb 25 (Interfax) - A group of Ukrainian nationalists trained by the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) are blowing up bridges to prevent Ukrainian troops from retreating, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

"The nationalists detect the unreliable among Ukrainian troops, and in case Ukrainian army commanders make decisions about a retreat from occupied frontiers, act as obstructing squads. In some areas they are detonating bridges to rule out a possible retreat by military units and sub-units of Ukrainian armed forces," the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov told a briefing on Friday.

"These groups of hardened nationalists numbering 25-30 people" were trained by the SSU and infiltrated army units in advance, he said.

"There have been cases of nationalists carrying out arbitrary trials and reprisals against conscripts unwilling to fight, in order to intimidate the personnel of Ukrainian Armed Forces units. This is what Ukrainian troops who surrendered arms have said," Konashenkov said.