Incident supposedly being prepared by British-trained saboteurs to spark conflict, militia leader explosively claims
Ukrainian commandos trained by Britain are planning a "series of terrorist attacks" in the Donbass to use as cover for a false flag operation, an official from the unrecognised, so-called, Donetsk People's Republic has alleged.
Local Militia spokesman Eduard Basurin said on Wednesday that Kiev will stage a provocation to accuse Russia of invading the country. He added that he believed neo-Nazi 'Right Sector' militants were also operating in the area. However, he provided no evidence to back up the allegations.
Basurin, however, insisted that he had "reliable information" suggesting six groups of saboteurs from the 8th Special Purpose Regiment of Ukrainian Armed Forces (VSU) had been trained by specialists from the UK and deployed near the line of contact. Their targets would allegedly include gas and water supply as well as power stations.
The purpose of their supposed provocation is to accuse Russia of 'false flag' attacks to prepare "aggression" against Ukraine, and to create panic among the local residents, he added.
Moreover, members of the 'Right Sector' were also spotted in the vicinity of Mariupol, a city close to the contact line, according to Basurin. The group was accompanied by a psychological operations detachment and a crew from a Ukrainian TV channel, and is operating the village of Pavlopol, controlled by the 36th Brigade of the Ukrainian army, he alleged.
Much of the Donbass region has been outside Kiev's control since the Western-backed 2014 Maidan saw the democratically-elected Ukrainian government overthrown. Fighters loyal to the self-declared 'People's Republics' in Donetsk and Lugansk have been clashing with Kiev's forces in an effort to hold the territory since then.
In December, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu alleged that American private military companies had begun shipping "unidentified chemical components" to towns in the Donbass as a potential precursor to an attack. Shoigu provided no further details or evidence of the purported plot.
Last week, Washington accused Russia of planning a 'false flag' attack in the separatist-controlled territory as a pretext for invading Ukraine. The allegation echoed claims of the Ukrainian government and came after CIA Director William Burns visited Kiev. Russia has rejected it as baseless, and called US insinuations of a planned invasion "fake news."
"Russia is not going to attack anyone," the Russian embassy in Washington said on Tuesday evening, commenting on statements coming from the State Department and the Pentagon that an invasion could "come at any moment" and even from Belarus.
"We urge you to stop the hysterics and not to put tension around the problem of Donbass. And the main thing is not to push the 'hot heads' in Kiev to new provocations," the embassy said, adding that if the US actually wanted to solve the internal Ukrainian conflict, it would stop sending weapons to Kiev and urge the government there honor the Minsk Agreements, designed to stem the fighting.