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​Declared missing: Russian diplomats detained in Kiev under dubious pretext

Published time: August 30, 2014 01:19
Edited time: August 30, 2014 04:33
Foreign Affairs Ministry on Smolensko-Sennaya Square in Moscow (Reuters / Valeriy Melnikov)

Foreign Affairs Ministry on Smolensko-Sennaya Square in Moscow (Reuters / Valeriy Melnikov)

A group of Russian embassy employees, detained in Kiev under a completely dubious pretext, have been declared missing by the embassy, after the Russian Foreign Ministry’s call for their immediate release was ignored by Ukrainian authorities.

Two Russian diplomats – 3rd Secretary of the Embassy Andrey Golovanov and attaché Mikhail Shorin – were detained by Kiev police earlier this week, despite carrying diplomatic passports. While the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry admitted their detention, the Interior Ministry later denied the incident.

“In connection with such contradictory reports from Ukrainian authorities, the Russian Embassy in Ukraine is forced to officially declare the disappearance of [Golovanov and Shorin] of the territory of Ukraine,” Russia’s embassy said in a statement on Friday, as cited by Ria Novosti.

Two men who were detained near a café in Kiev were carrying “hand grenades” and had documents “resembling” Russian diplomatic passports, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry claimed in an official note on August 27.

The pretext for their detention is clearly fabricated, the Russian FM said in response, demanding the immediate release of the diplomatic staff.

“Despite showing their diplomatic passports, they were detained under a completely false pretext,” the statement said.

“We demand the immediate release of the embassy staff members and prevention of any future violations of international conventions on diplomatic immunity,” the ministry added.

Russian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine (Image from yandex.maps.ru)