The US possesses detailed information on the numbers, organization and command of regular divisions of the Russian Armed Forces in the Donbas, US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker told the radio station Echo of Moscow in an interview.
“We have studied this matter very carefully. We have very good information about the commanders, the chain of command, the type of troops, their financing, the number of soldiers of the regular Russian army, the number of specialized divisions, and most of them are contractors,” Volker responded when asked whether the US had information on the presence of Russian troops in the Donbas.
The State Department representative said that the “Army Corps” of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics is overseen by officers of the Russian Armed Forces. He also noted that, in addition to regular troops, Russia frequently hires contract soldiers to participate in the Donbas conflict.
“There is direct Russian command and management through the chain of command, including regular troops, regular officers, but most of the forces are contractors, who are paid by Russia,” the diplomat emphasized.
Volker also observed that a certain portion of the illegal armed groups in the Donbas is made up of Ukrainian citizens who are also hired on a contract basis.
“There are not many of them [Ukrainian citizens]. Some of them are Russian citizens, some are Serbs, others from Belarus. As you know, they come from everywhere, and they are hired and organized by this company. But ultimately, these are illegal armed groups in Ukraine’s territory,” he continued, emphasizing that such groups must cease to exist according to the Minsk agreements.