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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora