News / Europe

Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fighti
X
August 26, 2014 5:45 PM
Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.

Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Gabe Joselow

Ukraine said on Tuesday its forces had captured a group of Russian paratroopers who had crossed into Ukrainian territory on a “special mission” - but Moscow said they had ended up there by mistake.

On Monday, the Ukrainian military said it had captured a group of Russian paratroopers who had crossed the border.

On Tuesday, Ukraine security services released video footage purporting to show testimonies from Russian paratroopers detained by Ukrainian government forces while fighting alongside pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine.

Video posted on Kyiv's Anti-Terrorist Operation Facebook page shows one of the detained soldiers, who identified himself as Corporal Ivan Milchakov, listing his personal details, including the name of the paratroop regiment he belongs to which he said is based in the Russian town of Kostroma.

“I did not see where we crossed the border. They just told us we were going on a 70-kilometer (45 mile) march over three days,” Milchakov said.

“Everything is different here, not like they show it on television. We've come as cannon fodder,” he said in the video.

Called a mistake

However, Russian officials said the soldiers were lost and crossed over the Ukraine border by mistake.

The claim was disputed by Ukrainian military spokesman Olekseyi Dmitrachkovskiy.

“Yesterday, these people were questioned and they gave testimony that most of them knew they were going to Ukraine," he said.

At a frontline Ukrainian military position, soldiers battle daily with pro-Russian separatists located about 10 kilometers away.

A Ukraine rocket-launcher site was destroyed in one of the frequent barrages of rebel fire that come every day, according to a young soldier, Oleg.

“You can't tell, it can be in 10 minutes, in 2 minutes or in 24 hours, or shelling all the time from artillery mortars or grad rockets," Oleg said.

The Ukraine military controls a narrow strip of land between Donetsk and Luhansk province. 

While the Ukrainians said they have rebel positions surrounded, concerns that Moscow is still funding and supplying the rebels means this fight could last for a while.

As the death toll mounts from the monthslong fight, officials in Ukraine hope a meeting in Minsk, Belarus, between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin will calm tensions.

“Concerning escalation, we will wait for the results of the negotiations taking place today in Belarus. I think probably common sense will prevail and they will agree and meet in the middle,” Dmitrachkovskiy said.

Russia continues to deny it is backing the rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine, but forces in eastern Ukraine said the evidence suggests otherwise.

Russian influences

Near the town of Debaltseve, Ukrainian national guards stopped a car when it tried to avoid a checkpoint. Inside, the troops said they found what they said was a drunk driver, machine guns and Russian passports.

Three accused separatists pulled from the vehicle are being investigated.

One of the soldiers in Debaltseve, Victor, is convinced of Moscow's involvement in the conflict.

“If Russia wouldn't support terrorists, this conflict I think would have been over a long time ago," Victor said.

Separatists are showing no sign of letting up in their long battle to control eastern Ukraine, as the military digs in for a long fight as well.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (3)
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
August 27, 2014 12:36 AM
RUMOR HAS IT;.. It was supposed to be the big Russian planned invasion of Ukraine, but the rest of the Russian army couldn't read a military map and got lost?...... (it was a made in Poland map, written in Yiddish?) :

PS;.. The rest of the Russian army got lost in the forest, and turned around in circles and attacked Russia by mistake?...... it's no wonder the US and NATO can't figure out what the Russians are doing?..... they're going around in circles?..... trying to find each other?


by: Igor from: Russia
August 26, 2014 11:20 PM
Those russian troops may have been questioned before gun points and under the threat of life from Kiev agents. Was there any neutral party involving in the testimony? No. Someone can speak anything according to the instructions of the kidnappers when his life is threatened. Pls hear the Amerian Journalist say before his head was cut off by an UK islamic militant.

In Response

by: Tom Murphy from: Heartland America
August 27, 2014 3:47 PM
The very fact that Russian military troops were captured in Ukraine proves an intent of invasion by Russian military command to cross into Ukraine. Russian forces have long had GPS technology that tells them accurately where they are, even in total darkness and storm. The fact that people like Igor can lie to themselves and dream up elaborate excuses for Russian troops to be blameless only demonstrates the depth of brainwashing and propaganda exercised by Putin's mind control apparatus.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid