MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian presidential candidate Oleh Tsarev claims the country’s interim authorities offered members of the disbanded elite Berkut police force up to $200,000 to return to duty, the Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper reported Tuesday.
“They will not come back,” Tsarev said in an interview published Tuesday. “They were offered big money to return … $100,000-200,000."
The politician, who faces three criminal cases filed by the interim government in Kiev on charges of inciting separatism, underlined that none of the former Berkut servicemen “fell for the money.”
The Berkut special police troops, who confronted the radicals during mass protests in Kiev, were disbanded in late February. Ukraine’s new authorities said they suspected 20 Berkut members of involvement in the sniper shootings on the country’s main square known as Maidan. The Berkut denied the accusations.
Earlier the official in charge of the admission and accommodation of Berkut members in Russia, Alexei Lobarev, said he doubted they would return to Ukraine due to the distrust of those in power in Kiev. He added the interim government has not guaranteed the safety of the officers.
After Kiev launched its case against the Berkut servicemen, Russian Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsevm offered them to resettle in Russia with the support of government aid for housing, children’s education and employment.