Speaking to reporters in Kiev on Tuesday, Security Service Head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko confirmed that the Miroshnichenko brothers –Alexei and Yuri, had served as members of the country's Foreign Intelligence Service, but denied the veracity of any of their statements.
"Today we have launched criminal proceedings under the article for state treason over the defection to the side of the Russian terrorist forces of two officers of the Foreign Intelligence Service. Unfortunately, this happened. The Security Service also denies any criminally delivered evidence, testimony or interviews they may have given, as persons who have betrayed the Ukrainian people. Their punishment will be inevitable," he noted.
On Monday, the Miroshnichenko brothers gave a press conference in Lugansk, the capital of the Lugansk People's Republic, stating that they could no longer tolerate what was happening in their country, and claiming that government forces were committing genocide in eastern Ukraine.
While it was earlier reported that Yuri Miroshnichenko had worked in Ukraine's Embassy in Paris, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs later clarified that Yuri had not been a diplomat, but had worked in the embassy as a senior lieutenant of the State Border Service seconded to the post of duty commandant. The Ministry also offered details on his defection, stating that he did not show up for work on June 9, and that by June 11 his diplomatic passport was annulled, with the relevant Ukrainian and French organs informed of the situation.offered details on the war in eastern Ukraine, stating that the majority of crimes against civilians were being committed by out of control ultranationalist territorial battalions, among them the Aidar, Azov and Tornado battalions. They added that the Ukrainian army is being supported by foreign mercenaries, who fight for money, and not for any concrete ideology.
The brothers also noted that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had deliberately understated their losses, and warned that the armed forces are presently consolidating their positions and preparing for an offensive, while deliberately provoking Lugansk and Donetsk militia to return fire to blame them for violating the truce.