Hungary sends special forces unit to Ukraine after citizen ‘kidnapped by gunmen’

by The Daily Lede

Hungary sends special forces unit to Ukraine after citizen ‘kidnapped by gunmen’

A special Hungarian counter-terrorist unit has been dispatched to Ukraine after Budapest learned a Hungarian citizen has been captured by unidentified armed men in Ukrainian “conflict zone,” local media reports.

A special unit of Hungary’s Counter-Terrorism Center (TEK) has arrived in an undisclosed area in Ukraine to try and free the captured Hungarian citizen, TEK’s Director General, Janos Hajdu, told local ATV channel on Tuesday.

According to Hajdu, the man, who is working for a Ukrainian company, was doing his job driving a car with Hungarian plates somewhere in the “Ukrainian conflict zone,” when he was stopped and detained by unknown gunmen. The incident took place after the driver “strayed to the wrong place,” Hajdu said.

Although the circumstances have so far remained unclear, Hajdu said it did not appear to be a “classic” hostage-taking situation, as nobody has asked for ransom for the man. Citing operational channels, the Hungarian official said the man was in good condition but has been kept in detention by his captors.

In order to secure the release of the Hungarian, a special TEK unit was “immediately” sent to Ukraine under the existing Kiev’s treaties with Hungary, a NATO, EU and OSCE member state. TEK has contacted relevant Ukrainian authorities and has been in constant touch with the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Hajdu told local MTI agency.

The official, however, refused to speculate on how long the special operation could last, saying it could take anything between hours and months.