On November 30th, two officers from the Ukrainian security service – SBU died in unclear circumstances at the separation line in Eastern Ukraine. Newly-published photos and footage suggest that they did, in fact, die in an explosion caused by landmines, which was the initial report.
The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) reported the following timeline of events:
“On November 30th, 2019, two SBU employees died: Colonel Volochaev and Colonel Kaplunov.
The task of the group was to capture one of the key positions of the DPR forces. When the sabotage group entered the territory of the Republic, actions of the group were detected by the People’s Militia.
During the retreat, Colonel Kaplunov stepped on a landmine and died on the spot. Colonel Volochaev also stepped on a mine, while he was attempting to evacuate the body.”
There are photographs showing the SBU officers, as well as the corpse of Colonel Kaplunov.
The other two photographs show the location where the two SBU officers stepped on the landmines.
Below are photographs of the Ukrainian group that attempted to infiltrate the DPR, as well as their equipment:
To provide evidence of the events, the DPR organized a press briefing, in which the People’s Militia provided “trophies” captured from the Ukrainian servicemen.
In addition to these, there are dozens more photographs that can be found here.
Mikhail Popov, press secretary of the Ministry of State Security of the DPR claimed that the two SBU officers, and their squad mates were preparing a provocation when they died.
“The group’s task was to capture one of the key positions of the DPR forces. When a sabotage group entered the territory of the DPR, actions the sabotage group were detected by the People’s Militia,” Popov said.
According to the deputy chief of the People’s Police of the DPR, Eduard Basurin, “the enemy’s sabotage group had the task of carrying out an armed sabotage.”
In particular, the Ukrainian group, was supposed to “kill Ukrainian servicemen”, who was on the DPR side of the contact line as a part of the inspection commission to check the progress of the de-escalation deal. Thus, the Kiev side wanted to accuuse the DPR of sabotaging the de-escalation. No evidence confirming this claim has been provided.
The two SBU officers – Colonel Denis Volochaev and Colonel Dmitru Kaplunov were posthumously awarded a Gold Star medal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Ukrainian side claimed that the two officers were part of a group that was actually stopping an infiltration attempt by DPR servicemen, and died protecting their country.
Dmitru Kaplunov also received a hero’s funeral.
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