Russia has been structuring its army units in Donbass throughout summer 2015, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov has said.
"Russian military command has completed the creation of a powerful ground force in Donbas based on two army corps which are prepared for active offensive operations," the NSDC press service quoted Turchynov as saying on Aug.27.
According to Ukraine, the first and second army corps are supervised and supported by the 12th special command of reserves of the Russian Armed Forces Southern Military District headquartered in Novocherkassk in the Rostov region.
"Russian career officers occupy most positions in the commands and staffs of these army corps. Up to 40% of corps personnel are residents of the occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk region; there are also contract servicemen and mercenaries from Russia hardened in battles in eastern Ukraine and Russian hotbeds," the NSDC press service quoted Turchynov as saying.
In his words, the two corps total up to 35,000 troops. In addition, military reserves comprising of the 21st tactical group of the Russian Armed Forces (15 battalion groups and six company groups), in all, over 9,000 men, are present on the territory uncontrolled by Kyiv. Fifty-three tactical groups of the Russian Armed Forces (39 battalion groups and 14 company groups) with a total strength of 50,500 men are deployed along the eastern border of Ukraine, Turchynov said.
He said that Kiev knew by name Russian generals and officers stationed in Donbass.
"The entire Russian force is supervised by Col. Gen. Serdyukov Andrei Nikolayevich, the Chief of Staff - First Deputy Commander of the Southern Military District [alias Sedov]," the NSDC secretary said.
He mentioned Maj. Gen. Alexei Zavizyon, Maj. Gen. Yevgeny Nikiforov and Lt. Gen. Sergei Yudin amongst other Russian military commanders.
The Russian administration and the Defense Ministry have said many times that there are no Russian forces and servicemen in Ukrainian territory.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
to our newsletter!
Get the week's best stories straight to your inbox