Elusive “shadow soldiers” (Russian troops masquerading as local gunmen) may deliver eastern Ukraine to Russia, according to NATO supreme commander Gen. Phllip Breedlove. But the situation seems unclear, as many of the soldiers are of Ukrainian nationality, but once served in the Russian military.
New York Times correspondents C.J. Chivers (a small arms expert) and Noah Sneider went to the restive city of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine to look Behind The Masks In Ukraine.
They found that the rebels, whose commander had taken over the Dontesk police station, were middle-aged Ukrainian nationals with ex-military backgrounds. They are provisioned with aging equipment, except for a few more recent weapons bought from corrupt Ukrainian soldiers.
In March, mysterious “green men” were spotted in Crimea, and were subsequently identified as Russian soldiers. So far no evidence linking green men and shadow soldiers has been found,