'Little green men' active in eastern Ukraine
PR dla Zagranicy
NFP 14 04 16 LITTLE GREEN MEN.mp3
NATO has said there is no doubt that Russian special forces are behind actions of armed separatist groups taking over government buildings in eastern Ukraine.
Armed people move on a combat vehicle with a Russian flag on a road from Kramatorsk to Slaviansk in Donetsk area, Ukraine, 16 April 2014. According to media reports, about six armored personnel carriers, which were seized by armored pro-Russian protesters in Kramatorsk, arrived to the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk. EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY Dostawca: PAP/EPA.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at the EU defense ministers meeting in Luxembourg, Tuesday, that “our information is reliable and I think the Russian behavior and actions on the ground speak for themselves.”
The separatists, often armed with Kalashnikov and wearing a variety of uniforms - others wearing identical combat gear though with no insignia - are highly reminiscent of the forces that took control of Crimea in February, known to locals as 'little green men'.
As Slawek Szefs reports, Ukraine's security service SBU have made public a tapped phone conversation - recorded on Sunday - that appears to show that the pro-Russian groups are being supported by Moscow.
The tape includes a conversation between the commander of a group of unidentified armed separatists occupying government premises in Sloviansk and their, alleged, Russian leadership.
"We've resisted the first assault. They ran into our defenses and sustained heavy losses," a voice says. "I don't know whom we faced but they seemed tough. // Nothing to worry. A detachment from Lugansk is on its way to you. They're experienced in combat, so they'll manage."
The intercepted telephone call explicitly reveals who stands behind the armed actions of the pro-Russian separatists.
"I want you to appear on LIVE news, so I'll give them your phone number. They'll call and say they're from television, from Moscow. // Are you sure we need this? // Don't tell them who you are. Take your deputy, the one that speaks with a Ukrainian accent," a man on the tape says.
The Russian language exchange is followed by detailed instructions with regard to demands that are to be presented through the media as well as specific conditions of their implementation.