4,500 Russian fighters have illegally crossed the Ukraine border from Russia into Donetsk and Lugansk, said Yaroslav Gonchar, deputy commander of the Azov battalion to the Ukraine Independent Information Agency (UNIAN) Thursday.

“According to the information that I have, approximately four and a half thousand fighters from Russia have entered into Donetsk and Lugansk regions illegally,” said Gonchar. “These fighters are rabble of the former Soviet Union.”

“The situation has developed in such a way that we have an unprotected border, and the rabble is able to cross the border of our country,” said the volunteer commander.

Azov battalion is a volunteer battalion of territorial defense for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. Azov battalion is based in Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. It was established during the recent unrest in southern and eastern Ukraine. The battalion is based temporarily in Berdyansk.

Armed fighters have also been reported to be flooding into Donetsk since last weekend. The fighters have been reported to be from Russia in part–particularly from Chechnya and other North Caucasus regions. The fighters are heavily armed.

By Day Blakely Donaldson