Ukrainian officials captured at least two Russian soldiers over the weekend, one of whom claimed on video he was a member of a Russian spying mission in the war-torn country.
Alexander Alexandrov said he is “a sergeant in the ‘spetsnaz’ from the central Russian city of Togliatti, and said he was a part of a 14-member group operating near the big border town of Luhansk.” The group was on a mission near the line that separates the Ukrainian government and the rebels with Russian soldiers.
“We were discovered,” he explained on the video. “I was wounded in the leg as I tried to get away. There were 14 members in the group. We’ve been here 4-5 days.”
No one authenticated the video yet, but if true, it could cause major trouble for Russia since it potentially provides physical proof of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained in the documentary Homeward Bound the exact plan he concocted to capture Crimea out of Ukrainian possession. He also went into detail how Russian soldiers prepared to rescue ousted Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych.
Pro-Western Ukrainians established a protest movement known as Euromaidan in Kiev in November 2013 after Yanukovych chose closer ties to Russia instead of ones with Europe. After three months, parliament kicked out Yanukovych on February 22, 2014. Crimea pushed out their Kiev-appointed mayor and appointed a pro-Russia mayor. On February 26, 150 gunmen stormed government buildings and raised the Russian flag. Then, Crimea’s parliament dissolved their government and elected a Russian speaker.
At the time, the Kremlin insisted it was only locals who participated in the takeover. However, in the documentary, Moscow finally admitted the Russian government was behind the seizure.
Throughout 2014, authorities denied the existence of Russian soldiers despite a huge pile of evidence against them. The European Union and America only recently admitted Russian soldiers exist in east Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry confessed that Russian propaganda worked on him.