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8 thousand Ukrainian officers have defected to the separatists


Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, 8,000 police and military officers have defected to the side of the separatists, according to officials in Kiev.

Ukraine’s Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoly Matios noted that officials are currently collecting evidence in order to bring criminal charges against the defectors. 

“At the moment, we have a full list [of names], and we are gathering evidence with regard to those 5,000 law enforcement officers and about 3,000 military servicemen who went over to the side of the enemy. They will be brought to justice,” said Matios.

On August 11, Anatoly Matios announced that the Ukrainian government is planning to set up a regional military Prosecutor’s Office in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian Security Services are also working on setting up a similar department in the conflict region. Matios said that the new security and prosecution structures will “help to launch proceedings quickly, which can then serve as the foundation for handing over cases to international courts.”

A military conflict has been raging since the spring of 2014 in the east of Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting the Ukrainian army.