Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor of the KGB, has abducted Eduard Basurin, one of the leaders of the Kremlin’s proxy forces in occupied Donetsk Oblast, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reported on April 16.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, repression continues against Russian army commanders who "did not justify the high level of trust" and expectations of the Russian leadership and are effectively failing in the war against Ukraine.
It was established that after talking to the FSB, Basurin was taken to an unknown location. The reprisal is linked to a careless statement that revealed Russia's plans to use chemical weapons against Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol, Ukrainian intelligence said.
Before claims of a chemical weapons attack on besieged Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol emerged on April 11, Basurin said that Russian chemical warfare experts would be called in to break the Ukrainian defense of the city.
There are other cases of the FSB cracking down on errant Russian military commanders.
From March 24 to April 2, a commission from the Russian Federation worked in the occupied Donbas city of Horlivka to identify the reasons for the current under manning of the 3rd Motor Rifle Division of the occupying forces.
It turned out that according to the reports of its commanders, the 3rd division was 100% staffed before the war. However, after the start of hostilities, it emerged that the actual troop contingent made up only about 55% of the listed staff.
Two battalion commanders were arrested and taken to an unknown location by people dressed as civilians (likely FSB officers). The fate of the former commanders remains unknown.
Russia's use of chemical weapons at Azovstal: What is known
On April 11, the Azov Regiment reported that the Russian occupiers had used an unknown poisonous substance dropped by a drone against Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in Mariupol. The victims suffered respiratory failure and other symptoms.
However, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has said the U.S. Department of Defense currently has no evidence that the Russian occupiers had used chemical weapons in Mariupol.
On the day of the attack, Basurin said that "the blockade of the plant needs to be addressed" by "turning to the chemical troops."
Around the same time, the Russian occupiers began spreading fake reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Ukrainian military. In response, Kyiv said that the Ukrainian military fully complies with the Convention Against the Use of Chemical Weapons.