09:04 GMT24 February 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the operation of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) to detain two Russian servicemen on the border with Crimea was treacherous and compared it with last winter's cutoff of power supplies to the Russian peninsula.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Defense Ministry on Monday reported that SBU officers illegally detained two Russian soldiers in Crimea November 20 and took them to Ukraine's Mykolaiv region with an apparent goal to press criminal charges against them.  A court in Ukraine's Mykolaiv on Tuesday arrested them for two months, with the possibility of bail.

    SBU head Vasyl Hrytsak specified Tuesday that the Russian servicemen were detained within the framework of desertion and treason criminal cases.

    "We know that these servicemen are former servicemen of the Ukrainian army, who, after Crimea's reunification with Russia, came to serve in the Russian army. I would like to note that we have always treated Ukrainian army servicemen with great respect and absolute trust, so they were offered to continue service in the ranks of the Russian army," Putin told reporters.

    He said the servicemen wanted to confirm education in a Ukrainian higher educational establishment, that was why they appeared on the border.

    "They were lured a few meters further and taken away. I think such treachery ultimately backfires on those who do such things, because it is like cutting off power supplies in Crimea on New Year's eve and in winter."

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