Ukrainian officials have opened a criminal investigation into the abduction of Evgeny Panov, the Ukrainian citizen Russia's Federal Security Service says it apprehended trying to infiltrate Crimea, allegedly in order to stage a series of terrorist attacks. According to Vadim Troyan, the acting head of Ukraine's National Police Force, the kidnapping case was launched following an appeal from Panov's relatives.
Igor Matyukhin, who served with Panov as a volunteer in the Ukrainian armed forces, says another two of their former comrades from the conflict in the Donbas also disappeared with Panov this past weekend. Matyukhin says Panov's wife told him that Panov said he was stepping out briefly for a meeting with old veteran friends, and promised to return home shortly. The next day, however, he didn't answer his phone. Panov's brother reportedly believes he was kidnapped.
On August 11, a day after Russian federal police accused Ukrainian intelligence agents of infiltrating the Crimean border with plans to set off a series of bombs, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with security officials and ordered the country's military forces on high alert.
“We are taking all necessary measures for the speedy, full, and unbiased investigation of all factors of this crime,” Troyan said.