Russian President Vladimir Putin has stationed more than 10,000 troops in eastern Ukraine and has spent billions of dollars on mercenaries to fight in Ukraine, according to an explosive report published Tuesday. The report was compiled by former Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down near Kremlin in late February.
Nemtsov was working to expose Putin
Months before he died, Nemtsov was working on a report about Russia’s secret military involvement in Ukraine to expose Putin. Titled “Putin. War,” the 64-page report contains all the evidence Nemtsov had collected in the last few months of his life. The report was published by Nemtsov’s close friend and liberal politician Ilya Yashin. Boris Nemtsov was a relentless critic of Vladimir Putin.
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The report that Nemtsov could not complete was completed by a group of activists and journalists led by Ilya Yashin. Immediately after Boris Nemtsov was shot dead by unknown gunmen, investigators stormed into his apartment, seized hard drives, computers, notebooks, contact books and other stuff. Yashin said he and his colleagues spent the first few weeks restoring all the documents seized by investigators.
Russia annexed Crimea to prop up Putin’s ratings
“Preparing the report on Russian losses in Ukraine was one of the reasons behind his (Nemtsov’s) assassination,” said Yashin. The report claims that Putin played an active role in the Ukraine war, even though Kremlin continued to deny the Western allegations of any involvement. The authors estimate that the war in Ukraine cost Russia hundreds of soldiers’ lives and $2.5 billion in mercenary fees.
The report also contains interviews of Russian soldiers who fought on the front lines, and those who disguised Russian military vehicles to avoid being identified in Ukraine. It also shows images of Russian weapons and troops spotted in eastern Ukraine. The report alleges that the Kremlin had orchestrated the annexation of Crimea to boost Putin’s flagging approval ratings.
The annexation of Crimea led to Western countries imposing sanctions on Russia that have crippled its economy.