Terrorists in the Donbas and their Russian military handlers are attempting to destroy the volunteer groups that are helping Ukraine’s military, the ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation) press center warned in a statement posted on its official Facebook site, October 1.
The terrorists through their actions have repeatedly confirmed that they are acting under the direction of military specialists in information warfare of the Russian Federation, the ATO statement reported, noting that many recent actions “do not resemble the operating style of simple terrorists.”
Recently, the terrorists have been dressing as members of Ukrainian military in order to carry out the shelling of civilians, preferably within camera view of Russian “fair and accurate news (reporters)” said Colonel Anatoliy Kravchuk, head of the information-psychological operations unit within the ATO command, who was cited in the ATO statement
According to Kravchuk, terrorists have declared “open season” on volunteers who are trying to help Ukrainian soldiers in the ATO zone. This is especially true of volunteer groups in the vicinity of Mariupol.
He explained that special terrorist and intelligence groups have been created to detect and disable the volunteers, noting that it is unlikely that they are operating without the participation of Russian (military espionage) specialists from the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Federation. The purpose of the agency’s activities is to block the volunteer movement through intimidation, he said.
“We are providing this information to warn volunteers currently working in the ATO zone,” he concluded.
Additionally, media sources have reported on attempts to lure ATO volunteers into traps with the help of social networks.
The Mariupol news site 0629 reported that in the vicinity of Mariupol a suspected subversive group has been active, which uses social networks to contact volunteers and pretends to represent wounded soldiers who urgently need help.
“In my case, they presented themselves as members of a unit in the 72nd Brigade,” said one volunteer cited by 0629. “Pay attention. They give vague directions for the meeting location. For example, they will say ‘the 43-km Mariupol-Volnovakha route. Drive up, phone and we will come out of the woods…’ They refused to meet at the checkpoint. There were also other inconsistencies in the conversation that I cannot discuss now,” he said.
Furthermore, the names of the “wounded soldiers” mentioned in the telephone conversation were not found on the lists of the military brigades and units, and these units were not even based in the locations cited, he added.
Volunteers are asking their colleagues to be very careful and to verify all orders with the unit commanders. “Don’t drive up with deliveries for unidentified soldiers without the consent of the officers of the military units,” they warn.