Ukraine says video shows Russian soldiers detained in east Ukraine

KIEV Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:34am EDT

Border guards march during Ukraine's Independence Day military parade, in the centre of Kiev August 24, 2014.   REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Border guards march during Ukraine's Independence Day military parade, in the centre of Kiev August 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich

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KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian security services on Monday released video footage purporting to show Russian servicemen who were captured by Ukrainian government forces while fighting alongside pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine.

The footage, which is likely to fuel allegations from Kiev and its Western allies of Russian involvement in the war, appeared on the day the Russian and Ukrainian leaders are to meet for talks in the Belarussian capital to try to end the conflict.

Russia denies giving military help to the separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's state security service said on Monday it had detained 10 Russian paratroopers who had crossed into Ukrainian territory from Russia in a column of several dozen armed infantry vehicles.

In footage posted on the official Facebook page of the Ukrainian government's "anti-terrorist operation," the men were shown dressed in camouflage fatigues.

One of them, who identified himself as Ivan Milchakov, listed his personal details, including the name of the paratroop regiment 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-kilometre march over three days," he said.

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

Another man in the footage, who gave his name as Sergeant Aleksei Generalov, said: "Stop sending in our boys. Why? This is not our war. And if we weren't here, none of this would have happened. They would have sorted things out with the government themselves."

The Russian servicemen were detained with their personal documents and weapons, near the small town of Amvrosiyivka in Donetsk region, the Ukrainian state security service said.

"Officially they are on military exercises in various corners of Russia. In reality they are involved in military aggression against Ukraine," Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey said in a Facebook post.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday dismissed reports of a Russian incursion into Ukraine, saying it was "dis-information" by the authorities in Kiev.

(This corrected version of the story fixes the first name of detained soldier to Aleksei from Andrei).

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk,; Writing by Alessandra Prentice, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Comments (5)
GRRR wrote:
You could have video proof of Putin personally handing cash to rebels, and he would deny it, and the Russian media would deny it, and the Russian people would deny it.

Aug 26, 2014 4:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sensi wrote:
So where are the video and what are the actual and deontologically verified facts? Reading the alleged Russian servicemen two last “statements” mentioned by Reuters they are conveniently and bizarrely mimicking the Ukrainian story-telling and talking points, the like of “spontaneous” speech from kidnapped people coerced in reading a text.

Aug 26, 2014 4:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
1964 wrote:
This all sounds pretty staged. If Russia was really secretly helping the rebels, rest assured, these “Russian soldiers” would not have talked that way – they would have been instructed to act as Russian Ukrainians. What does Kiev believe – that everybody is going to fall for all these blatant inventions? More likely it is the Ukranian army who moves through Russian territory and when they come back into Ukraine they claim its Russian troops and vehicles – which all of Ukraine army’s vehicles are: sold to them by Russia. This fact that Ukraine has exclusively Russian equipment was used time and again to claim that the Russians are infiltrating into Ukraine. Does Poroshenko really believe the Russians would do covert actions in such blatant stupid ways?

Aug 26, 2014 5:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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