Russian servicemen who have been detained in the Donetsk region of Ukraine have been delivered to a Kiev detention facility, says Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko.
Nine of the ten Russian paratroopers said at a press conference in Kiev on Wednesday that they had not intended to cross the Russian-Ukrainian border.
"We can't say exactly when we crossed the border and at what moment we crossed the border. There were no signs or plates there," Sgt. Vladimir Zavosteyev, a deputy platoon commander of the 333rd Regiment of the 98th Svir Division of the Russian Airborne Forces, said at the press conference.
He said the crew of a military vehicle carrying 10 troops received an order to return to bring another vehicle that was lagging behind a convoy. By doing this, the vehicle fell behind the convoy itself and was lost without maps. The sergeant said the vehicle traveled another 200 or 300 meters when an explosion occurred, and nobody understood what was happening at first.
When another grenade hit the vehicle, the troops realized that they had come under artillery fire, in which the driver sustained serious burns.
As the injured driver was in critical condition, the crew decided to move in the direction "from where we had come," Zavosteyev said.
By doing this, the paratroopers encountered unknown military servicemen who provided aid to the injured driver, and then it turned out that these were Ukrainian servicemen, he said.
"We asked for help for the injured serviceman, they said they would help us, took the injured serviceman and provided aid to him. I learned later that these were Ukrainian soldiers," he said.
The Russian paratroopers had not received orders to open fire during the march, and their weapons had not been loaded, he said.
The captives said the convoy they were escorting numbered a total of about 200 people, and this incident happened on the first day of drills.
It was reported earlier this week that a special unit of the Ukrainian armed forces and Security Service had detained a group of Russian military servicemen who had crossed the Ukrainian border. Security Service investigators have opened criminal proceedings into the illegal crossing of the border by armed Russian citizens.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian paratroopers could have found themselves on Ukrainian territory accidentally while patrolling the border area and said he would hope there would be no problems because of this.
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