About 400 elite commandos of a notorious US private security firm, Academi, are involved in a punitive operation mounted by Ukraine's new government against federalization supporters in eastern Ukraine, the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.
According to the newspaper, Academi mercenaries participate in attacks against federalization supporters near Slavyansk. So far, it's unclear who hired them.
In April 29, Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) informed the Angela Merkel government about Academi commandos' involvement in Kiev's military operations in eastern Ukraine.
Academi, former Blackwater (renamed in 2009), gained notoriety for killings of civilians in Iraq, arms smuggling and other crimes, TASS reports.
Media reports claiming that the Ukrainian leadership wants to recruit personnel from private foreign military companies "in order to maintain law and order" may suggest that the Kiev regime wants to suppress civil protest and discontent, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Private military company will be in charge of suppressing protest movements in Eastern Ukraine, said a source in the country's Security Service. According to him, the name of the company is Greystone Limited.
According to a source cited by ITAR-TASS, Ukrainian authorities believe that the Security Service is not able to suppress the protest mood and neutralize the leaders and activists of the pro-Russian movement in the eastern regions. In particular, the source said, the acting president Alexander Turchinov shares this opinion. "Therefore it was decided to attract foreign mercenaries, who will serve as political police and state security protection, " said the representative of the Security Service.
According to publicly available information Greystone Limited is a structural part of Blackwater, that was later renamed into Academi. According to military experts, the company is associated with the CIA and the US Defense Department. Its employees participated in the war in Afghanistan after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, the company has appeared in Iraq and became involved in training the new Iraqi armed forces and police, as well as support of the occupation forces.
Source: The Voice of Russia