The Islamic battalion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been deployed in the Kiev-controlled city of Mariupol, Deputy Commander of the Operational Command of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Eduard Basurin, said on Saturday.
“We have discovered an arrival of the Islamic Battalion to Mariupol in the number of up to 500 people, who will operate in the zone of responsibility of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade. The battalion is stationed on Bakhchivandzhi Street. The battalion’s curator is a commander of a squadron of the Ukrainian National Guard, Major Karpenko,” Basurin said.
Basurin did not explain why his “intelligence” called this division the “Islamic battalion.”
He noted that tasks of the unit include guarding of warehouses with rocket and artillery weapons and taking control over the Mariupol port, which, according to Basurin, became a base for illegal trade in arms and ammunition, including chemical weapons, with countries of the Middle East.
Earlier, the DPR intelligence reported on an arrival of mercenaries from Canada and Poland “in groups, consisting of 30-40 people” to the Donetsk and Gorlovka directions.
On March 21, Basurin said that a unit of women-snipers, known as the Witches, which is part of the Right Sector extremist organization, had arrived to the Donbass. According to him, the snipers were stationed in Artemovsk town.
The armed conflict in the Donbass began in the spring of 2014 after an attempt of the new Kiev authorities to suppress by force protests in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. According to the latest UN data, 9,500 people have been killed in the confrontation.