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Multiple sources deny a story about 13 armed men escaping from Kherson
The Rostov-on-Don publication 161.ru managed to contact people who were mentioned in a “wanted poster” about 13 armed soldiers who had escaped from Kherson to Crimea, which circulated widely on social media on October 6.
The “poster” reported that 13 men from the Cossack detachment Don had escaped with stolen Russian Ministry of Defense weapons and cars. It listed first and last names and other identifying details – including phone numbers.
A 161.ru correspondent called the number for Alexander Firsov, allegedly the “leader of the fugitives.” It turned out to be the number of another person listed on the “poster,” Alexander Savinov. He reported that he really was a fighter with the Don detachment, but that he hadn’t fled anywhere and was in the hospital with a concussion. He said that the other people mentioned on the “poster” were taken to the hospital with him, but that they were not his colleagues.
The 161.ru correspondent contacted another of the people listed, Alexey Korobtsev, on Russian social media network VKontakte. He also said that he “hadn’t run anywhere” but refused to say where he was located at the moment, adding that “state security agencies are involved” in the “poster.”
State Duma deputy Viktor Vodolatsky, who oversees the Don detachment, also denied any escapes from the detachment. “No one is going anywhere,” he said, adding that there is “discipline and order” in the detachment. He did note that the composition of the detachment is constantly changing, due to soldiers being injured, in the hospital, or sometimes killed.
A source close to law enforcement agencies in the Rostov region also confirmed to the 161.ru correspondent that he knew nothing about a group of armed fighters fleeing from Kherson to Crimea.
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