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Ukraine, Russia Trade Claims Over Soldiers' Detentions


Cars lined up to pass a checkpoint, erected by ethnic Tatars and members of Ukrainian nationalist battalions, outside the settlement of Chonhar, which borders with the territory of Crimea, November 23, 2015.

Cars lined up to pass a checkpoint, erected by ethnic Tatars and members of Ukrainian nationalist battalions, outside the settlement of Chonhar, which borders with the territory of Crimea, November 23, 2015.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Ukraine's detention of two Russian servicemen was " an illegitimate provocation."

Lavrov made the comment on November 22 in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, two days after the pair were detained by Ukraine’s security services.

Moscow claimed the soldiers were seized in the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula and called for their "immediate return."

However, the Security Service of Ukraine said the two were apprehended after crossing into Ukrainian-controlled territory.

They are accused of being deserters who defected to Russia from the Ukrainian army after Crimea was annexed by Russian forces in March 2014.

Earlier this month, Russian officials said they had arrested five suspected members of a Ukrainian "saboteur group" in Crimea.

Kyiv called the claim "another fabrication.”

Based on reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax
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