Tag Archive for Russian soldier

Russian Maj. Starkov captured near Donetsk with truck full of ammo sentenced to 14 years in jail by Ukrainian judge

On September 25 Russian Maj. Vladimir Starkov who was captured on July 25 near Donetsk at Ukrainian checkpoint with a truck full of ammo was sentenced to 14 years in jail by the decision of Ukrainian judge. This was reported by Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Anatoliy Matios and later the information was confirmed by Ukrainian media. This was the 1st case when regular Russian army officer was prosecuted.

Russian Maj. Vladimir Starkov in the Ukrainian court sentenced to 14 years in prison

Russian Maj. Vladimir Starkov in the Ukrainian court sentenced to 14 years in prison

This is symbolic! Half an hour ago the chairman of court hearing of the District Court of Dzerzhynsk city of Donetsk Region announced the verdict to major of Armed Forces of Russian Federation Starkov for taking part in aggressive war against Ukraine who followed orders of the Chief of Staff of Russian Federation Gerasimov. The verdict came after the request of the public prosecutor of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office. 14 years in prison and confiscation of property. In the name of Ukraine! In the name of fallen Ukrainian Heroes! In the name of Nadezhda Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov, Alexander Kolchenko! In the name of the Crimean-Tatar people! In the name of tears of Ukrainian mothers!

– Anatoliy Matios, posted at his Facebook page here

Few minutes later Anatoliy Matios added “Major Starkov admitted his guilt completely in the Ukrainian court! He didn’t sing National Anthem of Russia!

This happened first time in the Ukrainian history when Russian soldier was found guilty according to Article 437 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Article 437. Planning, preparation and waging of an aggressive war

1. Planning, preparation or waging of an aggressive war or armed conflict, or conspiring for any such purposes, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of seven to twelve years

2. Conducting an aggressive war or aggressive military operations, shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term of ten to fifteen years.

– Criminal code of Ukraine

Ruslan Iotko

Ruslan Iotko

Ruslan Iotko, the driver of the truck who was with Starkov and who accidentally got the truck with ammo to Ukrainian checkpoint taking wrong turn on the way from Donetsk was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ruslan Iotko said to the reporters that he’s not going to appeal and is ready to spend 10 years in prison. He also refused to answer the question about how he was recruited to one of the illegal armed groups of so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.

Below is the video from the court.

Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine posted information about this case at their website here www.gp.gov.ua

You can find more information on Russian Maj. Stakov in the posts below

July 26, 2015. Russian army officer captured on Ukrainian checkpoint near Donetsk with a truck full of ammo

July 30, 2015. Captured Russian officer Starkov explained how and how many Russian soldiers get recruited to fight in Ukraine. Full transcript of the video

Also on August 13 2015 Vladimir Starkov addressed to Putin in a video posted by Security Service of Ukraine. He said that he is Russian Army officer who has been on military service for 19 years, that he wasn’t a combat officer, but was just doing logistics and now Russian Army says that he doesn’t exist. He asked Putin to admit that he was a military and to help to get back home.

Russian paratrooper veteran captured in Ukraine near Lugansk.

Security Service together with Ukrainian soldiers captured Russian Federation citizen who was fighting against Ukraine on a side of pro-Russian terrorists of so-called Lugansk People’s Republic. He is also former Russian Army paratrooper. He was captured near Stanytsia Luhanska town that borders with Lugansk city controlled by terrorists.

Russian paratrooper veteran captured in Ukraine near Lugansk.

Russian paratrooper veteran captured in Ukraine near Lugansk.

In December 2014 captured Russian terrorists joined reconnaissance unit of illegal military group of terrorist organization “Lugansk People’s Republic”. He said that before he was taking part in military activities during 2 wars in Chechnya as a paratrooper of Pskov and Ryazan Airborne Assault Brigades. He has professional military skills and knows how to use different types of weapon.

Anti-Terrorist Operation map in Lugansk and Donetsk Regions.

Anti-Terrorist Operation map in Lugansk and Donetsk Regions.

Reported by Security Service of Ukraine at sbu.gov.ua

Captured Russian officer Starkov explained how and how many Russian soldiers get recruited to fight in Ukraine. Full transcript of the video.

Russian officer Starkov

Russian officer Starkov

Security Service of Ukraine posted a video of interrogation of the Russian officer Starkov who was captured by the Border Guard Service of Ukraine on July 25 at Ukrainian checkpoint. See Russian army officer captured on Ukrainian checkpoint near Donetsk with a truck full of ammo. Starkov explained the process of how he was recruited to continue his service in Donetsk and confirmed that there are about 2,000-3,000 regular Russian army soldiers on the territory of Lugansk and Donetsk Regions who coordinate pro-Russian rebels military forces on all levels. As soon as Russian officers arrive to separatists controlled territory they get docs on fake names and don’t have anything with them that can identify them as Russian army soldiers. After he was captured his family in Russia disappeared and phones got blocked.

Below you can see the video of his interrogation and the transcript in English.

Ukrainian officer: Do you remember any of your passport data?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, sure, I remember.

Ukrainian officer: Tell me.

Russian Maj. Starkov: Passport series 2203 and number 080912, issued on December 9 2002, by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Bor city in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.

Russian Maj. Starkov: Every commander in a brigade has… there is local head and he has Russian adviser. 

Ukrainian officer: Who makes decisions and who gives orders?

Russian Maj. Starkov: In general, locals do. Initially, we didn’t sign any document, we make locals to sign everything, we say you are in charge here, so you sign it, I just advise you how to do it.

Ukrainian officer: And only commander of brigade or some higher ranked commander? What kind of units hierarchy.

Russian Maj. Starkov: Battalion, Division… there are advisers… there are 3 advisers… So there is Commander of Battalion, Chief of Staff and Deputy Head Commander for weapons. So there are 3 officers in each Division, each Battalion they are present there.

Ukrainian officer: Guys who arrive from Russian Federation are they volunteers? You say and we know it is by order. There is an order and you go like on a business trip?

Russian Maj. Starkov: They don’t go like on a business trip, they don’t get paid daily for that. You get official position in 12th Command in Novocherkassk city (military unit created in 2014 as part of Southern Military District the Commander of 12th Command is Col. Bakhtiyar Nabiyev since July 25, 2014, see http://mil.ru). You get assigned to certain military unit. And when you arrive there, they tell it to you as a fact, that you are not going to serve in Novocherkassk and that you will continue your service in Lugansk People’s Republic or in Donetsk People’s Republic.

Ukrainian officer: So they tell that to you as a fact?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, before that they don’t tell us anything, and everything that is related to Ukraine is seriously top secret.

Ukrainian officer: And what is the motivation? Money? Or you are able not to obey the order?

Russian Maj. Starkov: 1st when they recruit people there everybody have their own circumstances. My situation was like this. For 12 years I have been serving in Taiga where there were only 4 houses, a school and a kindergarten… The closest village was 7 km away, a town was 45 km away, big city was 90 km away.

Ukrainian officer: There are only 15-16 buildings in that village where you were?

Russian Maj. Starkov: There are 4 5-storey houses…

Ukrainian officer: Go on…

Russian Maj. Starkov: I was applying many times to get transferred. They were telling me stay, how we can do without you, you can’t leave, just stay for another year… And recently I got a phone call and say that they are looking for a candidate on a position of the head of R.A.W. supply service. (R.A.W. is abbreviation of Rocket and Artillery Weapon – in Russian it is “Р.А.В.”). I asked them where? They told me to Novocherkassk city, Southern Military District. I said I agree. Seriously? They say yes sure! I said you were rejecting me so many times and here you are looking for a candidate, sure I will go there.  

Ukrainian officer: Who called you, your commander?

Russian Maj. Starkov: No, that was the Head of HR. So he said, OK, write a report. I wrote the report and sent it by fax… and after to months I got an order that I am assigned to 12th Command in Novocherkassk city.

Ukrainian officer: And what it means “12th Command”?

Russian Maj. Starkov: This is Reserved Command created in Novocherkassk that control…. 

Ukrainian officer: That covers Ukraine?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes…

Ukrainian officer: How many Commands like that are there around Russia?

Russian Maj. Starkov: I don’t know.

Ukrainian officer: Did you go alone or with the family?

Russian Maj. Starkov: I was going alone.

Ukrainian officer: Alone…

Ukrainian officer: Have you been promised that later you will be able to bring your family there?

Russian Maj. Starkov: No, nobody promised that.

Ukrainian officer: And when did you arrive to Novocherkassk?

Russian Maj. Starkov: March 3.

Ukrainian officer: 2015?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes.

Ukrainian officer: So you arrived there and went to the next destination?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, same day we got instructions, all day there were telling us different stuff, frightening us. In the evening they got us together and were saying like ‘you are going to that unit and you are going to that unit’ 

Ukrainian officer: What was the rank of the person who was telling you that? Who was commanding you, who was giving you instructions?

Russian Maj. Starkov: We were instructed by the head of HR, his rank was Colonel, the Chief of State Secrets Protection service and somebody from FSB (Federal Security Service)…

Ukrainian officer: Do you remember the last name of that Colonel?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Nobody was telling us their last names…

Ukrainian officer: But they were in the uniform?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, in uniform.

Ukrainian officer: And what insignia they had? 

Russian Maj. Starkov: Insignia of the 12th Command.

Ukrainian officer: Insignia of what type of troops? Construction battalion, artillery? You said there was a Colonel. What type of troops?

Russian Maj. Starkov: He has his rank marked on his shoulder straps… but can’t say exactly now what kind of troops.

Ukrainian officer: You are Major Officer.

Russian Maj. Starkov: There were crosses on his chevrons of 12th Command.

Ukrainian officer: That is some kind of cross?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes.

Ukrainian officer: And as for lieutenant Colonels you don’t remember?

Russian Maj. Starkov: One was from marine Corps in black uniform.

Ukrainian officer: And were there people who refused to go?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, there were 3 men who refused. Immediately commander started to bully them saying like ‘you graduated from military school, what for do you wear officers shoulder straps and now you refuse to obey the order… do you refuse to obey the order of the Minister of Defense’. They said ‘no we will not, we will not go’. They were taken away immediately. They didn’t go with us. And I don’t know what happened to them after that. More likely they were simply fired.

Ukrainian officer: And who were they? Do you know their names?

Russian Maj. Starkov: No, nobody knows anyone there. Because they take 1 man from different units in order they don’t know each other…

Ukrainian officer: Do you distinguish somehow citizens of Russian Federation among locals? You see each other anyway? Tell us how you distinguish them.

Russian Maj. Starkov: 1st of all mentality, how they communicate. If he is an officer you see he’s an officer, he’s always shaved very clean, the uniform is clean and ironed, his boots are polished. If this was your daily routine for years, that can’t be taken away from you.

Ukrainian officer: Did you see a lot of men like that, your colleagues?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes.

Ukrainian officer: And what do you think there are many Russians who are serving there?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Sure there are a lot of them there. I think if you take all together Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic, that would be about 2-3 thousands.

Ukrainian officer: What is the structure of command in DPR-LPR? What do you know? You are not a simple officer,  you are Major officer. You were communicating with others, going to the trips for ammunition.

Russian Maj. Starkov: You can describe the structure like this: the Chief of the Corps is Russian General.

Ukrainian officer: The Chief of what?

Russian Maj. Starkov: The Chief of the Corps. This is the Army Corps, this is in DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic).

Ukrainian officer: What is the last name of the Chief?

Russian Maj. Starkov: I don’t know that.

Ukrainian officer: So you think that is Russian General?

Russian Maj. Starkov: No, we know and everybody that is Russian General. And what his name or callsign is I don’t know. Because we didn’t have access there, we only had access to our service and in order to get there you would need to apply for special pass.

Ukrainian officer: And the pass that you had that was only for access to your unit?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, only to my unit. And who I was meeting, the highest rank was Deputy Chief for ammunition, that is the Deputy of the Commander.

Ukrainian officer: And what was his rank?

Russian Maj. Starkov: He is lieutenant Colonel.

Ukrainian officer: Russian?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes. Russian lieutenant Colonel. I told you his last name already. Ryshkovich.

Ukrainian officer: Ryshkovich?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes.

Ukrainian officer: And how ammunition gets there? Ah, you already told us, from there…

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes.

Ukrainian officer: So there is Chief of the Corps who is Russian General and he has Deputies.

Russian Maj. Starkov: He has Deputies, Deputies have different services… and brigade… the services of brigade are under services of the Corps. The system is like that.

Ukrainian officer: The commander of your brigade who is he? What do you know about him?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Local, Colonel Tikhonov, full name Tikhonov Mikhail Gennadiyevich, callsign ‘Tikhon’.

Ukrainian officer: And what is the main task. What your brigade is responsible for? What is its name?

Russian Maj. Starkov: 5th separate local Infantry Brigade, military unit #08805

Ukrainian officer: What is in there? What kind of weapon, how many men? About 500 right?

Russian Maj. Starkov: No, there are 2497 men. And all of them are divided into units. There is management, command, services.  

Ukrainian officer: What was your position?

Russian Maj. Starkov: I was on a position of the head of R.A.W. supply service. (R.A.W. is abbreviation of Rocket and Artillery Weapon – in Russian it is “Р.А.В.”)

Ukrainian officer: Of all that brigade?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes. My task was to keep records of all weapon that brigade had, control how it is given to men, transferred, write-off, control ammunition, keep records of rockets, ATGM, because there were no records before that. Everything was given here and there without control.

Ukrainian officer: What was the procedure of changing your name? I see that all your colleagues are not under their real names. Was that an order from the command? Tell us about that.

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes. The procedure of changing name was like that. When we arrived to the brigade, we got accommodated, in the evening we had a meeting where we were given application forms to put full name and callsign. They said we had to fill that with fake names as a cover.

Ukrainian officer: For your legend?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, because we are not here. And such person doesn’t exist. Because we are advisers we don’t sign documents, so we had to do so.

Ukrainian officer: You know about 2 GRU soldiers who were detained before?

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, I saw them in the news.

Ukrainian officer: Yes, we have them safe according to witness protection program. Have you heard news about them? Do you know that…

Russian Maj. Starkov: Yes, they were refused, same with me.

Ukrainian officer: What are your feelings about that?

Russian Maj. Starkov: How… the country doesn’t need me… I will not be exchanged… 2 days ago my family was taken away and nobody knows where, there is no way to get in touch with them now.

Ukrainian officer: How do you know that?

Russian Maj. Starkov: We were trying to call them on the phone, all phone numbers are blocked, of all my relatives. I called to a friend of mine. My family was on vacation now. I called to my friend who lived nearby where they were, he went there and there was nobody home. I called him later and asked to go back in the morning. He went there in the morning again and the neighbors told him that they left 2 days ago. And nobody knows where they went, my wife, her mother and my children. Where they went I don’t know and why they left… They had tickets for August 1 or 2 to go back home where they live.

Ukrainian officer: If you had a chance to address to your colleagues, friends, your fellow soldiers, address to those who service here and came from Russia, what would you tell them? 

Russian Maj. Starkov: Well… I said already. It’s not worth coming here. Not worth a tinker’s damn. They lie to us, they make money on us. 12th Command gets ranks and just want to keep their positions, it’s a total fraud. 12th Command comes here just for few days, they get daily payments for that and medals of Kutuzov and Zhukov. And we just stay here as meat. We don’t do anything, everybody put pressure on us here and want something from us. And it’s not clear who we train and what we teach them. If your eyes would open, everything would be completely different. If I knew the situation here before, I would never come here. Search for any way in order not to get here.

Russian army officer captured on Ukrainian checkpoint near Donetsk with a truck full of ammo.

Yesterday night at 10 pm State Border Guard Service of Ukraine stopped “KAMAZ” truck full of ammunition at checkpoint “Berezove”. Inside the truck there was Russian army officer in a rank of a major and another terrorists of so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.

Ukrainian Border Guards stopped a truck with Russian officer and ammunition near Donetsk

Ukrainian Border Guards stopped a truck with Russian officer and ammunition near Donetsk

The truck with ammo was going from Donetsk to Yasne controlled by pro-Russian terrorists, but the driver missed the turn and they got to Ukrainian checkpoint near Berezove.

Terrorists truck with ammo and Russian officer missed the turn and got to Ukrainian checkpoint

Terrorists truck with ammo and Russian officer missed the turn and got to Ukrainian checkpoint

Ukrainian Border Guard Service also posted a video of the truck with ammo and the Russian soldier who was driving the truck. The video is available on their YouTube channel. In the video Russian officer says that he was stationed in Donetsk since March 5, 2015 and he was taking the ammo to the camps located in Yasne. At the last terrorists checkpoint he was given direction to go straight, but never went on this route before and didn’t realize that he actually needed to take a turn.

Below is the full transcript of the conversation between the Ukrainian solder and the captured Russian POW.

Ukrainian soldier: Where were you brought to?

Russian soldier: We were brought to the Army Corps.

Ukrainian soldier: Where is that Army Corps?

Russian soldier: I don’t know the address…

Ukrainian soldier: City?

Russian soldier: Donetsk.

Ukrainian soldier: Donetsk. How do you know that was the Army Corps? Somebody told you that?

Russian soldier: Yes.

Ukrainian soldier: Who?

Russian soldier: The senior. When I reported on my arrival. We were taken inside the building quickly, we were taken on the 3rd or 4th floor to the conference room with all our stuff. They told us not to leave the building. Nobody was given us any instructions or anything like that. Later representatives were just coming, from military units… Fictitious names…

Ukrainian soldier: Fictitious?

Russian soldier: Yes.

Ukrainian soldier: So when you were coming from the Russian territory, each of you already had his own fictitious name? 

Russian soldier: Yes.

Ukrainian soldier: OK, tell me the name.

Russian soldier: Mine?

Ukrainian soldier: Yes, fictitious.

Russian soldier: Ovsyannikov.

Ukrainian soldier: Ovsyannikov… What position you took in the brigade?

Russian soldier: I got in the brigade on a position of the head of R.A.W. supply service. (R.A.W. is abbreviation of Rocket and Artillery Weapon – in Russian it is “Р.А.В.”)

Ukrainian soldier: Of the brigade?

Russian soldier: Yes.

Ukrainian soldier: 5th brigade?

Russian soldier: Yes.

Ukrainian soldier: How long have you been in Donetsk?

Russian soldier: Since March 5.

Ukrainian soldier: Until what day?

Russian soldier: Until today.

Ukrainian soldier: So today you were driving from Donetsk?

Russian soldier: Yes.

Ukrainian soldier: And where were you driving to?

Russian soldier: To Yasnoye.

Ukrainian soldier: Where?

Russian soldier: Yasnoye.

Ukrainian soldier: Who gave you the task?

Russian soldier: The commander of the brigade.

Ukrainian soldier: Have you been driving there before?

Russian soldier: No. So I didn’t know the way. On the last checkpoint I was told to go straight. There will be…

Ukrainian soldier: When did he give you the last task?

Russian soldier: Yesterday I was on the meeting

Ukrainian soldier: Personally with him?

Russian soldier: Yes, sure, and today in the morning on a briefing he told me not to forget that we were going tomorrow to the camps in Yastnoye. He asked me what I was supposed to do. I told him my task was to take ammo there and he told me “do it”.

The truck that belongs to illegal armed groups arrived to Ukrainian checkpoint from the direction of Olenivka village located on the territory of Donetsk Region which is under control of Donetsk People’s Republic. There were 2 men in military uniform without any insignia. In order to stop the vehicle border guards shot in the air few times and called for support.

Docs with terrorist group symbolic

Docs with terrorist group symbolic

While checking the truck border guards found out that one of the two men is an officer of regular Russian army according to his words, his military rank is major, and the other man is a member of illegal armed group. Inside the truck there were a lot of boxes with ammunition. There were grenades F-1, shells of different caliber and grenades for RPG-7B.

Ammunition found in a truck

Ammunition found in a truck

Ammunition found in a truck

Ammunition found in a truck

Ammunition found in a truck

Ammunition found in a truck

Reported by State Border Guard Service of Ukraine at dpsu.gov.ua and more photos were posted her.

UPDATE on July 28, 2015: Russian OG-7V fragmentation grenades identified as part of the ammo captured at Ukrainian checkpoint.

UPDATE on July 30, 2015: Captured Russian officer Starkov explained how and how many Russian soldiers get recruited to fight in Ukraine. Full transcript of the video.