Kiev has deployed a large group of foreign mercenaries – about 300 people – in the territory of Donbass under control of ATO forces near the Azov coast. Nearly 100 of the mercenaries are citizens of Turkey. Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry reported that attacks are being prepared in the south of Donbass, on the coastal zone of the DPR and in Rostov region of Russia.
“A group of Turkish mercenaries - about 100 people – arrived in Mariupol to launch subversive actions and provocations at military and civil families in the coastal zone of both DPR and Russia,” the DPR Defense Ministry reported. A source from the DPR reconnaissance reports that 200 foreign mercenaries with identifiers of Ukraine’s armed forces arrived in the town of Artyomovsk. According to the source, there are Turks among foreign mercenaries, as they talk to each other in Turkish. Some of the foreign “volunteers” are speaking in Slovak and Polish.
Since early December, the Turkish authorities have intensified the support to Ukraine. For instance, by the Ukraine’s Armed Forces Day – on December 6 – the Turkish TV Studio AZMT Production broadcasted a three-minute-long video “Tempered in Hell” dedicated to the participants of the ATO. It is available on Youtube channel of the studio. Ukraine’s citizens prepared the title strip reading “The video is dedicated to the Day of Ukraine’s Armed Forces (December 6). It demonstrates the military actions and exercises of our soldiers for the last 18 months. We have what to be proud of and what to strive for. Glory to our heroes!”
It should be noted that on December 17, the coordinator of the “civil blockade of Crimea” Lenur Islyamov said a Crimean-Tatar battalion is being formed on the border with Crimea. It will organize the sea and network blockade of the peninsula. Islyamov said the Crimean-Tatar battalion will be helping the frontier and airborne units deployed in Kherson region. The goal of the network blockade of Crimea, Islyamov said, is to cut the Russian region off telecommunication systems. Islyamov said that he is waiting for the Majlis’ permission to start the blockade. “The leadership of Majlis represented by Refat Abdurakhmanovich (Refat Chubarov - EADaily) so far keeps it back, as the people in Crimea will remain without internet, communication. As soon as there is a permission, the blockade will be launched,” said the ex-Crimean oligarch and the former deputy prime minister of the Russian Crimea who currently resides in Ukraine.
The major task of the “civil blockade of Crimea,” Islyamov said, is to make European leaders demand Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine as early as at the next meeting of the Minsk Crisis group in Ukraine. “Crimea is not just part of Ukraine. It is its best part,” he said and called Russia a “country that kills Ukrainians.” Therefore, Islyamov said, he insists that Kiev stops any business talks with Moscow.