Organizers of gas pipeline explosion in Crimea threatened their agents with murder

In their testimonies the detainees said that the organizers of the attack knew everything about them, their families, their place of residence and their current jobs

MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. The organizers of the gas pipeline explosion in the community of Perevalnoye, in Crimea, blackmailed the agents they had recruited to commit this act of sabotage, as follows from testimonies by one of those arrested in connection with the attack. A video of the man’s questioning was released by the public relations center of the federal security service FSB on Wednesday.

The person said the masterminds of the attack had called him by telephone several times and threatened to kill his family, if he refused to blow up the pipeline.

“They threatened me. One of them said: ‘Look out of the window.' I looked out and then they said: ‘Your little daughter is now playing in the sandbox, and your son is standing near a barrel. There is a nut-tree behind the house. Next time you will look out of the window you will see your kids hanging on that tree. You must take this thing [the explosive device] and do what we are telling you’,” the man said.

In their testimonies the detainees said that the organizers of the attack knew everything about them, their families, their place of residence and their current jobs and at a meeting in Kherson they asked them to fill in questionnaires.

According to the FSB’s public relations center the act of sabotage was staged by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. On September 4, FSB operatives detained three Crimean residents: the mediator – deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (outlawed in Russia) Nariman Jelyalov, and also two saboteurs – Asan Akhmetov and Aziz Akhmetov. The Ukrainian military intelligence promised them a cash reward of about $2,000 for committing this act of sabotage.

On Wednesday, the FSB said that in the process of investigating the explosion sufficient evidence was obtained of connections between the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and Ukrainian secret services. According to the detainees, apart from participation in preparations for the act of sabotage the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate tried to use the Mejlis to trigger protests by the Crimean Tatar population against legitimate actions by the authorities and law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Crimea.

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