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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 455
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukraine To Present 'Captured Russian Soldiers' To Media
7 years
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Ukraine Presents Russian Sniper Rifle Taken From Captured Soldiers, Will Charge Them With 'Terrorism'

Two men, who the Ukrainian government claims are Russian soldiers, captured yesterday by the Aidar battalion near Schastye in the Lugansk region, are being transferred to Kiev today.

Nataliya Vasilyeva reports for AP that Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for the Ukrainian General Staff, said that, having been interrogated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), the men will be brought before the media in Kiev.

Dmitry Peskov, President Putin's spokesman, has denied that the men are Russian soldiers.

Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reported that Peskov said (translated by The Interpreter):

"I, of course, cannot confirm because it is not us who should be asked such questions. We and the Ministry of Defence have repeatedly said that there are no Russian troops in the Donbass whatsoever."

Peskov said that specialists from the Ministry of Defence should look at the evidence presented by Ukraine to assess its plausibility. He said however, that this was not an issue for the Presidential Administration, reiterating that there were no Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Vasilyeva reported that a medic from the Aidar battalion had told her that their prisoners feared having their organs harvested by Ukrainian troops:

 Grigory Maksimets, a medic of the pro-Kiev volunteer Aidar battalion, told the AP that he attended to the men when they were delivered late Saturday to his hospital in Shchastia, a town less than 20 kilometers north of Luhansk and home to a strategic power station.

One man had been wounded in the shoulder and the other one in the right leg, said Maksimets, who works in intensive care. The men were caught by Ukrainian troops while on a reconnaissance mission around the power station, he said.

The men both introduced themselves as Russian soldiers and were worried that the battalion's doctors wanted to take their organs for sale, he added.

"They asked not to be sedated because they were afraid we would take their organs," Maksimets told the AP, adding their Russian commanders had warned them about this.

A video of the interrogation of one of the captives, who identifies himself as Aleksandr Anatolievich Aleksandrov, that was uploaded yesterday, has now been translated into English by several sources.

Here is version with subtitles by InformNapalm:

We must caution that statements by captured prisoners may well be obtained under duress.

Furthermore, their public presentation, at their forthcoming media appearance likely constitutes a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Here is a full transcript by Lugansk News Today:

Ukrainian soldier #1: Your last name, first name, patronymic name?

Russian POW: Aleksandrov Aleksandr Anatolievich.

Ukrainian soldier #1:  Military rank?

Russian POW: Sergeant.

Ukrainian soldier #1:  Unit?

Russian POW: 3rd Brigade.

Ukrainian soldier #1:  Louder!

Russian POW: 3rd Brigade of Special Forces

Ukrainian soldier #1:  Go on, city?

Russian POWTogliatti.

Ukrainian soldier #2: 3rd Brigade of Special Forces?

Russian POW: … (nodding “yes” and looks at the Ukrainian soldier #2)

Ukrainian soldier #2: Say it loud.

Russian POW:  3rd Brigade of Special Forces, Tol city.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Starting from what date you are in the “zone” (means Anti-Terrorist Operation zone)?

Russian POW:  Since March 26.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Surname of your commander?

Russian POW:  Yarofeev Yevgeniy Vladimirovich.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Military rank?

Russian POW:  Captain.

Ukrainian soldier #1: What area were you operating in?

Russian POW:  Area of Shchastye, town of Shchastye.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Group structure? Number of people?

Russian POW:  14 men.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Last names?

Russian POW:  … (makes deep breath and closes his eyes)

Ukrainian soldier #1: Military rank and last name?

Ukrainian soldier #2: Tasks and under what circumstances you were captured?

Russian POW:  Commander of the group, captain Yarofeev. Deputy commander of the group, praporshchik Azimov (“praporshchik” is a rank in the Russian military). Commander of 1st squad… I don’t know… don’t remember his name…

Ukrainian soldier #1: Think, think, concentrate, remember.

Russian POW:  Yefreitor Kutul-Akhmetov (“yefreitor” is a rank in the Russian military). Machine gunner, yefreitor Konovalov, senior gunner. Sniper, junior sergeant Nemov.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Callsigns? You know everybody communicates with each other by callsigns.

Russian POW:  Wait… wait…

Ukrainian soldier #1: He is naming the group now (addressing Ukrainian soldier #2 who interjects in the conversation). Name the group until the end (addressing to Russian POW).

Russian POW:  Scout…(couple of words not clear) Grigoriev, sergeant Grigoriev.

Ukrainian soldier #1: uh huh…

Russian POW:  Sapper, yefreitor Spiridonov. Commander of 2nd squad, senior sergeant Yevlaev. Sniper, Kulmukhametov, yefreitor.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Sasha (Sasha is short for Aleksandr in Russian), has physical force been used towards you?

Russian POW:  No, it hasn’t.

Ukrainian soldier #2: No. Say this directly.

Russian POW:  Physical force hasn’t been used towards me.

Ukrainian soldier #2: You are a soldier of Russian Federation or you are transferred to the reserve?

Russian POW:  I am a soldier of Russian Federation.

Ukrainian soldier #1: You are on military service, starting from what date you are on military service?

Russian POW:  Starting from December 12, 2012.

Ukrainian soldier #2: You are a contract soldier now, yes?

Russian POW:  Yes, I am a contract soldier.

Ukrainian soldier #2: What is the motto of special forces, the motto of your regiment?

Russian POW:  At any time, in any place – any task.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Clear. Number of groups that you know that work in this area?

Russian POW:  4.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Those that consist of servicemen of Russian Federation.

Russian POW:  Those that I know…

Ukrainian soldier #1: 4 groups…

Russian POW:  In the area of Shchastye…

Ukrainian soldier #1: In the area of Shchastye operate…

Ukrainian soldier #2: Do not prompt him, let him say it himself…

Ukrainian soldier #1: How many men, how many groups are operating in the area of Shchastye?

Russian POW:  In the Schastye area we rotate with one group all the time.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Are there some other groups operating in this area?

Russian POW:  In neighbouring areas.

Ukrainian soldier #1: In which neighbouring areas?

Russian POW:  Raivka.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Next.

Russian POW:  Stanytsia Luhanska area.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Next.

Russian POW:  I don’t know more, I don’t know other groups.

Ukrainian soldier #1: You don’t know their tasks?

Russian POW:  No… observation…

Ukrainian soldier #2: Your tasks?

Ukrainian soldier #1: What orders were you getting from your command, orders the group got when moved forward?

Russian POW:  Get to the point… (the rest is not clear).

Ukrainian soldier #2: Under what circumstances you were wounded? What is the task of your group?

Russian POW:  Get to the point… make observations…

Ukrainian soldier #2: Say louder, please.

Russian POW:  Get to the bridge and make observations.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Next. What happened?

Russian POW:  … (phrase not clear)… we were detected… when we were retreating I was wounded in the leg.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Did you cross the territory…?

Ukrainian soldier #1: Did you cross the territory that borders?

Russian POW:  No, we didn’t cross the river. (Means Seversky Donets River, the demarcation line between territory controlled by so-called Lugansk People’s Republic and Ukraine controlled territory).

Ukrainian soldier #2: You task was observation? Or no? Ok, we won’t  prompt you, tell us clearly your task, your group movement.

Russian POW:  Our task was observation… if there was some result of observation, then…

Ukrainian soldier #2: Getting to the specified point, I understand…

Ukrainian soldier #1: Group members, how many men?

Russian POW:  14 men.

Ukrainian soldier #1: 14 men. For what period of time you did come here, you rotate, or you are permanently deployed here?

Russian POW:  For 4-5 days.

Ukrainian soldier #1: After that you depart to your permanent place of deployment?

Russian POW:  Yes, to Lugansk city.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Lugansk city… How did you get to Lugansk city initially?

Ukrainian soldier #1: You are located here, you arrive on vehicles?

Russian POW:  Yes, we arrive on vehicles.

Ukrainian soldier #1: What kind of vehicles?

Russian POW:  “URAL” truck.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Armored vehicles like BMD, BMP?

Russian POW:  Just on “URAL” trucks.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Who comes with armored vehicles?

Ukrainian soldier #1: Last name of commander of your brigade?

Russian POW:  Gennadiy Shchepin.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Shchepin?

Russian POW:  Yes.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Say his military rank and last name.

Russian POW:  Colonel Shchepin.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Company commander?

Russian POW: … (the name is not clear in the video)

Ukrainian soldier #1: Permanent brigade deployment location?

Russian POW: Togliatti city.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Can you say it again louder?

Russian POW: Togliatti city.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Togliatti city…

Ukrainian soldier #2: How do you communicate with local population on that side of the river?

Russian POW: Just communicate.

Ukrainian soldier #2: Get information?

Russian POW: We don’t get information. We ask militia.

Ukrainian soldier #2: How do you communicate with so-called militia?

Russian POW: Just…

Ukrainian soldier #2: Joint operations?

Russian POW: No joint operations.

Ukrainian soldier #2: You have an order not to get in contact with them or what?

Russian POW: No, we communicate, but no joint operations, we don’t discuss tasks.

Ukrainian soldier #2: So you don’t  communicate…

Ukrainian soldier #1: So units are working without co-operation, autonomously, correct?

Russian POW: Yes…

Ukrainian soldier #1: Number of groups that you know that operate based in Lugansk city.

Russian POW: 6-8.

Ukrainian soldier #1: 6-8 groups. Who do you know from other groups? Last names?

Russian POW: …(thinking, not clear what he says, can’t say last names).

Ukrainian soldier #1: Callsigns?

Russian POW: Sergeant…(name is not clear), sergeant Aleksandrov.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Another sergeant Aleksandrov? He also works in a separate group?

Russian POW: Yes… squad commander.

Ukrainian soldier #1: Where does that group work… now?

Russian POW: It's located in Lugansk city now.

Ukrainian soldier #1: And where did it operate?

Russian POW: Stanitsa Luhanska area. 

A VKontakte page belonging to one Aleksandr Aleksandrov has been found. It does link to a military unit based in Togliatti (unit 21208), but there are no photos to check against the video.

InformNapalm published photos of the two captives' ID cards, issued by the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic:


Sergeant Aleksandr Anatolievich Aleksandrov, from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, born January 7, 1987


Captain Yevgeny Vladimirovich Erofeyeyev, from Kuybyshev, born Janurary 18, 1985

The Ukrainian General Staff are now due to hold a press conference, scheduled to start at 16:00 Kiev time (13:00 GMT).

-- Pierre Vaux