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Ukrainian prime minister has military past in Chechnya — Bastrykin

The Russian Investigation Committee has questions to Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk who fought against the Russian troops in Chechnya in the mid-1990s, Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Russian Investigation Committee, said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta that will appear in the daily's issue on September 9 and on the newspaper's website.

Bastrykin said that Arseniy Yatsenyuk was linked to crimes committed against Russian servicemen and Interior Ministry troops during the anti-terror operation in Chechnya in 1994-1995 along with Dmitry Korchinsky, Igor Mazur, Dmitry Yarosh, Valery Bobrovich, Oleg Tyagnibok and Andrey Tyagnibok as well as Vladimir Mamalyga.

"Investigators have established that Arseniy Yatsenyuk fought against Russian servicemen [in Chechnya] together with them during the same years as part of the Argo and later the Viking punitive battalions," Bastrykin told investigators.

"According to investigators, Arseniy Yatsenyuk took part at least in two armed clashes in the Chechen capital of Grozny: on Minutka Square on December 31, 1994 and near hospital No.9 in February 1995. He also tortured and executed captivated Russian servicemen in the Oktyabrsky district of Grozny on January 7, 1995," Bastrykin said.

Yatsenyuk and other active participants in the UNA-UNSO [Ukrainian National Assembly - Ukrainian People's Self-Defense] movement received the Honor of Nation award instituted by late Chechen rebel leader Dzhokhar Dudayev for destruction of Russian soldiers, Bastrykin said. He added that Russian investigators had questioned some of Yatsenyuk's associates who characterized him as being smart and educated but at the same time cunning and slippery - a person who has sought power and publicity since young age.

Bastrykin said that Yatsenyuk had returned to Ukraine via Georgia together with a group of journalists in early 1995. In the following years, Yatsenyuk was noticed at the UNA-UNSO congresses and other events held in Kiev many times.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 08Sep15]

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