Ukraine captures elite Russian soldiers who 'accidentally' crossed the border
The Russian government is claiming that 10 soldiers from an elite paratrooper unit captured in Ukraine crossed the border without realizing it.
I guess the dog must have eaten their GPS devices.
kraine 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.
Paratroopers patrolling the border? Paratroopers getting lost? It strains credulity for the Russian government to make those claims.
The captured Russians, under interrogation, claim they were part of a 400 strong unit that crossed the border on Sunday, reported the Daily Mail. The Mail also reports that secret funerals inside Russia are being held to bury those Russian soldiers killed in action in Ukraine.
Disclosures were made about several funerals near Pskov, northern Russia, amid claims a cover up has hidden that their deaths followed fighting in Ukraine.
Two soldiers were named as Alexander Osipov and Leonid Kichatkin.
A social network posting by Kichatkin's wife Oksana read: "Life is over". It was subsequently deleted but her husband's grave was found by journalists.
The US National Security Adviser Susan Rice accused Russia of repeated "dangerous and inflammatory"incursions into Ukraine using artillery, air defence systems, tanks and troops, representing a "significant escalation" in the conflict.
Russia routinely dismisses accusation of its soldiers fighting in Ukraine as "disinformation".
But Ukraine said Putin was seeking to open a new front in the conflict by sending in an armed column of 10 tanks and two armoured infantry vehicles close to the Azov Sea.
It's safe to say that there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of Russian soldiers who have infiltrated across the border and are fighting with the separatists. In that sense, Russia has already invaded its neighbor.
How long befrore the rest of the Russian army follows?