Three Ukrainian paratroops are feared to have been abducted into Crimea after disappearing Saturday evening near the border with the Russia-held Black Sea peninsula, the Ukrainian General Staff said on its Facebook page Sunday.
The three soldiers were relieved from their post on the Crimea-Ukraine border on Saturday evening. The men changed into civilian clothing and told their relief they planned to take a swim near a dam on the border, the General Staff said.
On the night of their disappearance, two unspecified Russian-made UAZ and Ural vehicles approached the border from the Crimean side and “probably illegally detained our servicemen,” the General Staff statement said.
No response from the Russian or Crimean authorities was immediately available.
The Ukrainian military has been unable to reach the men on their mobile phones that are currently outside of their network coverage, military spokesman Oleksiy Mazepa told the 112 Ukraina television station on Sunday.
“All of their belongings and weapons are still at [their] military base, so I don't think they wanted to commit some kind of treason,” Mazepa was quoted as saying.