Media in both Ukraine and Russia have reported in the last couple of days that a couple of Russian ‘spetsnaz’ (special operations) soldiers were detained in Luhansk region by one of the Ukrainian volunteer battalions. Both are reported wounded and receiving treatment by Ukrainian doctors. The news is significant in light of continued denials by the Russian regime that any regular Russian military personnel are active in Ukraine. The Russian webzine ‘Snob‘ reported as follows on May 17th:
Soldiers of the Ukrainian volunteer battalion ‘Aydar’ have captured two Russian military personnel, reports a fighter with ‘Aydar,’ Yuriy Kasyanov, on facebook
The soldiers were detained on Saturday, May 16th, when they reached the city of Schastye, from which the 80th Separate Air Mobile Brigade had been brought out. ‘We had not even had time to cool the tracks of the 80th Brigade fighters when the enemy decided to test our defenses,’ said the ‘Aydar’ soldier. According to him, during the battle one Ukrainian soldier was killed, and several people were injured.
‘Two of the attackers – Russian military personnel from diversionary-intelligence units – were captured,’ said the soldier of the Ukrainian battalion.
The Ukrainian military detained Russian special operations agents from the city of Togliatti who were quartered in Luhansk, wrote Luhansk doctor Grigory Maximets on facebook. According to him, one prisoner is named Alexander Alexandrov; the second – Yevgeny Yeroveyev. Both soldiers were wounded: Yerofeyev received a bullet in the shoulder; Alexandrov – in the thigh.
‘As usual in such cases, the Russian saboteurs were very worried for their organs, which we doctor-murderers were supposed to have cut out for the purpose of selling, as their commanders had constantly warned. One of the occupier-officers even demanded that his shoulder be operated on without anesthesia – so he could guard his kidneys – and we went to meet him,’ said a doctor.
Near the city of Schastye, two officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Russian Defense Ministry were detained, ‘Interfax-Ukraine’ reports. ‘Two Russian soldiers were detained, and our investigators are working with them,’ confirmed Andriy Lysenko, representative of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine for the Anti-Terrorist Operation.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet commented on the reports of the detention of the special ops troops of the GRU. In the past, the Defense Ministry has repeatedly stated that Russian soldiers and officers are not involved in the war in the Ukraine.
The Ukrainian site InformNapalm, also reporting on May 17th to confirm reports of the capture and provide details, quotes a volunteer members of its team of reporters who appeals to the public to use the news of the capture of the Russian soldiers to counter Russian propaganda that no Russian army troops are engaged in hostilities on Ukrainian territory:
A video in which the young Sgt. Alexandrov is interrogated in hospital, identifying himself and his commander, Yerofeyev
Yesterday, during fierce fighting with Russian diversionary-sabotage units that engulfed the area around the settlement of Schastye, two Russian servicemen – soldiers of the Togliatti GRU spetsnaz, a captain and a sergeant of the Russian Armed Forces – were taken prisoner. Both were injured, and the severity of their injuries is currently unknown. Total losses on the side of the attackers are still being verified, while two were killed and three wounded from the Ukrainian security forces.
A volunteer on the InformNapalm team, Roman Burko, reported on these events on facebook on May 16th.
Roman also suggested that the Russian prisoners of war should be used to conducting informational-psychological measures and appealed to the public to prevent the concealment of this incident.
Today, May 17th, the headquarters of ATO also confirmed information on the Russian prisoners of war. This was announced at a press briefing by the spokesman for the ATO in the Presidential Administration, Col. Andriy Lysenko, when asked about the accuracy of the information on the detention by soldiers of ‘Aydar’ of two members of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate.
Recall that in 2014, the media were full of headlines that a GRU spetsnaz brigade had been sent from Togliatti to Crimea for the protection of a strategic target.
In March 2015 there were reports that special operations forces from Togliatti (Samara Region, Russia) had been thrown into the Luhansk region.
UPD: Around 14:50 on May 17th, dispensary department physician Grigory Maximets also confirmed on his facebook page also confirmed the information about the two wounded Russian soldiers and posted their photos:
By the evening of May 17th on social networks there had appeared the photos and identity papers of the Russian prisoners of war which had been supplied by the militants of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) in order to hide the fact of participation by these persons in the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
Senior intelligence officer, Russian Federation Armed Forces service contract Sgt. Alexander Anatolievich Alexandrov, 7 January 1987, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, call-name: ‘Alex.’
Reconnaissance group commander, Capt. Yevgeny Yerofeyev, 18 January 1985, Kuibyshev, Russia, call-name: ‘Dolphin.’
The InformNapalm Team sincerely hopes that the Ukrainian authorities and the public do not allow this fact to be silenced, and shall disseminate it not only at the most widely publicized global level, but also use it as a means of counter-propaganda.
We will be following developments surrounding this incident.