Russia says 400 Ukrainian soldiers seek refuge

Moscow - Russia said on Monday that more than 400 Ukrainian soldiers had sought refuge on its territory, a fact which Ukraine has only partially confirmed and without citing any figures.

The Ukrainian soldiers "asked for a humanitarian corridor during the night from Sunday to Monday" across the Ukrainian-Russian border, a regional official of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) was quoted as saying by the Russian news agencies Interfax and ITAR-TASS.

"The Russian border guards opened a humanitarian corridor and admitted [onto Russian territory] 438 soldiers of the Ukrainian army" who surrendered their weapons, said FSB official Vasily Malayev.

One wounded soldier was hospitalised, he added.

A Ukrainian spokesperson told AFP that a number of the country's soldiers "were forced to pull back towards a Russian border post following an attempt to break through" lines of pro-Russian rebels.

But the soldiers "did not surrender," said Oleksiy Dmitrashkivsky, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military operations in the east of the country against pro-Russian rebels.

He did not specify the number of soldiers involved.

The press office of the Ukrainian border service said according to its information the soldiers had run out of ammunition.

The Russian government was due to present the Ukrainian soldiers to the media on Monday.

Russian television on Sunday broadcast an interview with an unnamed Ukrainian commander who said he led his unit of a dozen troops across the border to save their lives.

Ukrainian forces have stepped up operations in the area near the Russia border in an attempt to encircle the pro-Russian rebels around the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Kiev has accused Russia of supplying weapons to the rebels, a charge Moscow has denied.

Hosni Mubar 2014-08-04 05:31:35 PM
Putin's Russia has no business in Ukraine. He is paying a heavy price for his neo-Soviet designs. This price is only going to get heavier.
Wimpy Van Der Westhuizen 2014-08-04 05:32:01 PM
go home Russia
Siya 2014-08-04 06:55:52 PM
In mid July US spy plane was detected by the Russian radar doing electronic surveillance of Russian army basis. It was intercepted and chased by a Russian fighter jet from the navy base. On escape the US plane violated Swedish air space after it was denied excess from Sweden. I am yet to see that article about the US of A spy addicts.
Henderson 2014-08-04 07:13:30 PM
Obama and his bully nato friends are weeping like little girls now
Mark Harold Jones 2014-08-04 08:44:37 PM
Clever move ukrainian soldiers. They were surrounded by the rebels and taking a pounding. They were offered an escape route if they surrendered their heavy equipment but destroyed it and gapped it to Russia who had no choice but to help, because "they are not involved in the war". Masterstroke ,check mate rebels, they must be fuming
Olpe Murphy 2014-08-04 10:26:33 PM
What are these guys doing? This is not a basketball game, where you can call "time out!"