Key Accused in Crimean Sabotage Rejects Russian Allegations

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Saturday, 13 August 2016, 20:26

Volodymyr Serdiuk, who was named as ’the mastermind of the sabotage and reconnaissance operation’ allegedly conducted by Ukrainian Military Intelligence in Crimea, has said he has no relation to the intelligence services or special operations.

In his statement on Hromadske, Serdiuk noted that the only truth in the information which was published by the Russian media is that his name and last name were spelled correctly and that he indeed served in the 37th battalion (which his no connection to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence).

"I was a military psychologist of the 37th battalion. My duties were talking to combat personnel, helping avatars [Ed: Ukrainian modern military slang for soldiers and officers who are regularly abusing alcohol], documenting violations such as absence without official leave. That’s all. I have no relation to military intelligence or special services. And I never planned it and don’t want to be involved as I do not possess the necessary knowledge or experience," — Serdiuk told journalists.

"This is nonsense. I never was a chief of intelligence. This morning I finally got on the Internet, read everything they write about me and I am deeply shocked. I never organized anything and never sent anybody anywhere. I am an honest citizen who just lives his life and earns money for his family. And now, after all that, the entire country is discussing me. This is embarrassing," — Serdiuk noted.

Serdiuk told he was demobilized on September 30, 2015. Now he resides in Kyiv and manages a business he had before the war - a small bureau of industrial design.

"I know Zhenya [En.: Yevhen Panov who was the first Ukrainian to be detained by the Russian FSB in what is now known as the case of ‘the Ukrainian Sabotage Group in Crimea’]. I even have records when I was talking to him in the course of my duties. I don’t know what he told them, but he definitely was under some influence. We served at the same time, but he was drafted before me, so he was demobilized also before me. He named two other guys from our battalion as well: Oleksiy Sandul and Oleh Dmytrenko. Oleksiy survived a fragment wound, his hand is not functioning well. He is always spending time in hospitals. Oleksiy is of the same age as me — over fifty. What kind of a special agent can he be?" — Serdiuk commented.

Serdiuk considers the case against Panov to be nonsense as well. "Judging from the video Zhenia wasn’t treated well, to put it mildly. The Russian video definitely shows signs of violence on his face. His reaction is somewhat slow. The mismatches are clearly visible. Even when he is naming me, he is doing it unnaturally slowly. It looks like there someone behind the camera, who is telling him what to say. Besides, I cannot grasp the story Russian investigators created. Look where Zhenya is and where is what he is accused of," — reasons Serdiuk.

According to Serdiuk, Panov is pro-Ukrainian but his health is weak. "When he joined us we were all wondering why they accepted him in the local military commissariat," — Serdiuk told.

As was already reported, the Russian media stated, with reference to their sources in the FSB, that the recent ‘act of sabotage’ in Crimea was organized by the ‘chief of intelligence of the 37th battalion of 56th brigade of the Ukrainian army’ Volodymyr Serdiuk.

Besides Serdiuk the ‘sabotage group’, which the FSB uncovered during the night of August 7 near the cemetery in Suvorove settlement near Armyansk, included the commander of the intelligence platoon of the 37th battalion lieutenant Oleksiy Sandul,  representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence Oleh Dmytrenko, call sign ‘Lys’, privates Oleksandr Kyrylov and Oleh Moskvitin, who did not participate in the clash near the cemetery.

On Saturday the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine stated that the Main Intelligence Directorate never included the 37th motorized rifles battalion of the 56th brigade.

Source: Ukrayinska Pravda

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