Two months in the Crimea for 2000 roubles
Three troubled paratroopers of the 79th Brigade, who in early September were detained by Russian border guards, have been returned to Ukraine. Their first words upon arriving in Kherson were: “We were treated well.”
“They took us in captivity to a hotel in Armyansk and kept us there. Conditions were ok: beds, TV, a desk, air conditioning,” reported one of the soldiers, Alexander Yurov, to Ukrainian web portal depo.ua.
They were fed according to the norms of the modern Russian Army, which is to say, the food was delicious. The surprised Ukrainian fighting-cocks got a choice from a pair of first courses, two or three second ones, as well as four to five salads, semi-dry salami, and other snacks—the same as for Crimean soldiers. Among other things there was yoghurt, tea, coffee, juice or fruit juice with a buttered bun. Their pleasure lasted for two successive months!
The Ukrainian military command failed to come to the aid of their “captives”. A spokesman for the UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces –ed.] General Staff, Alexey Mazepa, put forward another version, claiming that the paratroopers had gone to a lake to wash their laundry and that the Russian Army had then abducted them.
The “heroes” explained during the FSB’s interrogation that they had decided to “communicate with the Russian Marines, whom they had repeatedly seen on the opposite shore of the Sivash [the body of water separated from the Azov Sea by the Arabat Spit –ed.].” Flushed with unrestrained drunkenness, the three soldiers “took a watermelon, a piece of bacon, and moonshine to entertain the lads and went to fraternise with them.”
There is information that the Russian side proposed to exchange the Ukrainians for DPR prisoners, but Kiev refused. According to the soldiers, all this time the commanders of their military unit did not attempt to establish communication and were uninterested in the fate of their soldiers, although Ukrainian cell-phone networks operate in the Armyansk border area.
Senior soldier Yurov and Privates Orlenko and Mekshun were returned to Ukraine after their mothers arrived in the Crimea and paid a fine for their sons. The amount of the fine for their illegal border crossing was a laughable two thousand roubles.
That is, two months in a real resort with a hotel, three meals a day, medical check-up, cable TV, and other freebies cost each of them thirty roubles per day [$0.50 –trans.]. Their chronic intoxication from alcohol has passed and their health has been restored. Crimeans fear that, having considered such a state of affairs, crowds of freebie-loving Ukropithecus [similar to Australopithecus –trans.] will start streaming through Perekop [on the border between Crimea and Ukraine –ed.].
Meanwhile, the trio of overfed Ukrainian warriors all of a sudden changed their testimony. Aired by Ukrainian media, they had already told of their “abduction by armed Russians” and “coercion to cross to the Russian side.”
The same Yurov suddenly presented a detective story of how his colleagues, who had decided to sit on the beach, were “surrounded by the Russian military,” allegedly beaten with rifle butts, tied up and taken away to Armyansk.
Senior soldier Yurov now says that “they were forced by the Russians to recount” their hike with the watermelon and vodka to Russian Crimea.
The ‘cock sparrow’ said that he was offended by his commanders; he is going to hospital and will then file a letter of resignation from the Ukrainian Army, because he “has fought enough.” Now the luckless trio, along with their lawyer, are in a state of permanent dislocation from the 79th Brigade. An internal inquiry was conducted, as a result of which it was determined that “the soldiers voluntarily abandoned their military unit.”
When promotions come round, the guys face prison. It seems that their performance with the abrupt change of their version of events was one of the conditions for their exemption from criminal liability.