#40 - JRL 2009-157 - JRL Home
Ukraine denies its military's alleged involvement in S. Ossetia conflict

KYIV. Aug 25 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has denied
claims that Ukrainian servicemen took part in the South Ossetian
conflict in 2008.

"Our servicemen were not involved [in the conflict], and our
position on this has not changed," the Defense Ministry's press service
told Interfax.

Only ID papers of Ukrainian officers, or contract servicemen,
identical to the documents kept at the Defense Ministry's personnel
department, as well as servicemen's personal tags, can be considered
proof of the Ukrainian military's participation in the South Ossetian
conflict. By all accounts, the Russian side has no such evidence.
Therefore, one cannot assert that the Ukrainian military took part in
the conflict, a military spokesman said.

Ten Ukrainian servicemen were in Georgia ahead of the conflict in
the Caucasus and they were taking part in an international drill, the
spokesman said. But they were evacuated to Ukraine as early as August 8,
2008, he said. The Ukrainian military attache remained in Georgia during
the conflict, while three Ukrainian experts were performing a UN
monitoring mission in Abkhazia, the Defense Ministry said.

The Russian federal prosecutor's Investigation Department said on
Monday it had proof of Ukrainian servicemen and nationalist UNA-UNSO
members' participation in the conflict on Georgia's side.

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