The SBU officers were captured in the city of Horlivka in Donetsk region on April 26. They were then transported to Sloviansk and are still being held there, the SBU believes. They were reportedly on a mission to conduct surveillance of and possibly arrest alleged Russian Military Intelligence Lieutenant-Colonel Igor Bezlier, who is suspected of involvement in the murder of a local city councilman.
Several Russian media released shocking photos and video footage of three men in their underwear, bruised and blindfolded, and covered in blood. The men were recorded undergoing a barrage of questions that resembled a hostile interrogation. They confessed to being SBU officers on a counterterrorism mission.
Their identification and personal effects were sprawled on a nearby table, showing their ranks being lieutenant colonel, major and captain of the elite Alpha unit of the SBU.