NEKHOTEEVKA, August 31 (RIA Novosti) -All Russian paratroopers who were detained in eastern Ukraine earlier this week are now back in Russia, the deputy commander of the Russian Airborne Forces, Major-General Aleksei Ragozin, said on Sunday.
“The negotiations were very difficult. However, common sense triumphed and all ended well. The most important thing is that our guys are back with us, in Russia. I want to emphasize that we never abandon our own,” Ragozin said, adding that Russia has been doing everything to bring the paratroopers back home as soon as possible.
Ragozin said that the paratroopers will receive psychological support and any other help they might need.
“I find it unacceptable that the Ukrainian side kept our soldiers for so many days. Moreover, they were brought to Kiev. However, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who found themselves on Russian territory, receive comprehensive assistance from the related authorities and are handed over to Ukraine immediately,” Ragozin said.
On Monday, Ukraine’s Security Council claimed it detained ten armed Russian paratroopers in the east of the country near the border with Russia.
Later, a source at the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti that the paratroopers had been on routine patrol and could have crossed the border accidentally. According to the source, the soldiers did not resist arrest.
On Friday, Russian president Vladimir Putin said that he discussed the release of the paratroopers with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and Poroshenko said Ukraine will hand them over to Russia.