MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) — A group of Russian embassy employees has been detained “under false pretext in Kiev” and Moscow is demanding their immediate release, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.
The ministry said that a group of embassy employees, including the Russian ambassador’s personal bodyguard, were detained near a Kiev cafe, allegedly in possession of grenades.
“Despite showing their diplomatic passports, they were detained under a completely false pretext. We demand their immediate release and [Kiev's] strict observance of international conventions about diplomatic immunity," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also called for the release of Russian paratroopers, detained earlier this week after they accidentally crossed into Ukraine while patrolling the border area.
“All explanations have already been given. Ukrainian servicemen often cross into our territory, including while driving armored vehicles. They are given the required medical assistance and other help and then released. We expect the Ukrainian side to do the same,” the statement reads.
According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, the diplomats were detained as they were leaving a cafe in Kiev on Thursday on allegations that they had grenades.
On Monday, Ukraine’s Security Council claimed it detained ten armed Russian paratroopers in the east of the country near the border with Russia. A source at the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti that the Russian servicemen were patrolling the border and could have ended up in Ukraine by accident. The soldiers did not resist arrest, according to the source. The paratroopers have since been transferred to a detention facility in Kiev.