Russia claims soldiers captured by Ukraine crossed border by accident

Russia claims soldiers captured by Ukraine crossed border by accident

Russia claims soldiers captured by Ukraine crossed border by accident

The Russian government has claimed that a group of soldiers captured in eastern Ukraine had crossed the border by accident, reports GHN based on Fox News
Ukraine earlier announced that it had captured ten soldiers Monday in the area of Amvrosiivka, near the Russian border in the Donetsk region. The region has been torn apart by fighting between government troops and pro-Russian separatists who declared independence in the region in April.
The Facebook page for the anti-rebel operation — which includes the military, the national guard and Interior Ministry forces — said the soldiers are from a Russian paratrooper division. The posting did not give details of how the capture took place.
Footage of five of the captives was also posted on the page and showed men dressed in camouflage fatigues. One of them, who identified himself as Ivan Melchyakov, listed his personal details, including the name of the paratroop regiment he said is based in the Russian town of Kostroma, located on the Volga River northeast of Moscow.
“I did not see where we crossed the border,” he said, according to Sky News. “They just told us we were going on a 70-kilometer (43-mile) march over three days.
“Everything is different here, not like they show it on television,” Melchyakov continues. “We’ve come as cannon fodder.”
The BBC reported that another captive, who gives his name as Sgt. Andrei Generalov, says “”Stop sending in our boys. Why? This is not our war. And if we weren’t here, none of this would have happened.”
Ukraine’s Defense Minister seized on the capture, the first such event claimed by authorities, as proof that Russian soldiers are fighting in Ukraine alongside the separatists.
“Officially they are at exercises in various corners of Russia,” Valeriy Geletey said, according to Sky News. “In reality, they are participating in military aggression against Ukraine and their families know nothing about their true fate … I am addressing the relatives of Russian servicemen. Find out immediately where your loved ones are. Take them out of Ukraine, where they are being forced to die.”
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted an unnamed source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers were patrolling the border area and probably crossed the border inadvertently.
The confrontation came to light hours before talks between Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko were due to begin in Minsk, Belarus. The news is likely to add more tension to an encounter that was already highly unlikely to succeed in bringing an end to the conflict.
The United Nations has estimated that more than 2,000 people have died since the conflict began, while 330,000 are believed to have fled the area.
NATO has claimed that Russia has tens of thousands of troops positioned in areas near the Ukrainian border, leading to persistent concerns that Russia could be preparing an invasion. Russia has denied that it has any intention of invading eastern Ukraine, and has also pushed back against accusations from Ukraine and Western nations that it has provided military support and training to the separatists or fired artillery into Ukraine itself.
On Monday, Ukraine said 10 tanks and two armored vehicles belonging to the Russian military crossed into southeastern Ukraine bearing the flags of the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic. Ukraine also claimed that Russia fired artillery in the direction of the city of Novoazovsk in the far southeast.

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