steampunk heart

Ukrainian radicals were keeping 300 monks and civilians hostage in monastery, Russian MoD Says

At least 300 people, including monks, who had been taken hostage by Ukrainian radicals in Nikolskoye, were freed by the Russian military, the Defence Ministry announced on Sunday.

“In the village of Nikolskoye, militants from the Aidar national battalion, deployed artillety positions right on the territory of the Holy Dormition Nicholo-Vasilyevsky Monastery, held about 300 civilians and monks hostage”, MoD spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

According to the statement, the radicals were eliminated and the rest dispersed.

Konashenkov noted that Russian troops advanced 14 kilometres over the past day, claiming several settlements in the region.

The advance comes as part of a special operation in Ukraine launched by Moscow on 24 February. President Vladimir Putin said the op was started to stop the eight-year war in Donbass, waged by Kiev, and stressed it aims to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Russian forces have been targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure with precision weapons, eliminating over 3,500 military objects since the operation was launched.