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Transcribed: the Statements of a Russian Soldier Captured in Ukraine

Disclaimer: This is a transcript of one of the four videos published on the official website of the Ukrainian security service on Tuesday claiming to show testimonies from Russian servicemen captured in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times bears no responsibility for the statement made in this video and cannot ascertain whether the man who appears in the video was in any way coerced or under duress.

Watch the video (with English subtitles) here.

Before this, did any other servicemen leave for Ukraine?
An echelon left one day before we did.

From your regiment, right?

Introduce yourself please.
I'm a Russian citizen, Ivan Vasilyevich Melchikov. Born on June 7, 1995.

Where do you serve?
I serve in the town of Kostroma in the military unit 71211, 331th paratrooper regiment.

Tell us, please, how did you end up on Ukrainian territory?
We were marching from the Rostov region, Makeev Kurgan village, for 70 kilometers.

Did you know that you were on Ukrainian territory illegally?
I guessed, but I understood only when we began to get shelled.

How did you enter Ukraine?
We were going in a convoy not via roads, but across fields.
I didn't even see where we crossed the border.

Did you know that you were going to Ukraine?

What was the goal?
They didn't say anything, they just said we would be marching for 70 kilometers for three days.

This is your badge, right?
This is my badge, yes.

Read it out, please.
Russian military forces SU 108012 personal number.

Is there something you want to say to your superiors?
I can only tell them not to be secretive about where servicemen are going and what they do — they should tell us.
Because we are like blind kittens — sent off, and that's all.

And if you would know where you were going? Would you still go?
At that moment, we didn't know. We were told on television, there were rumors that banderites [Ukrainian nationalists] are evil, they do what they want. And that the separatists, are the good guys.

But once I came here and once I became a POW, they explained everything and opened our eyes to the truth, to what is really happening. We didn't even know why we were going there. We were driving and got lost. We were shelled, and then a Grad missile system from the Russian side shelled us too.

Do you want to say anything to your government? To the Russian people?
Russians, you are being deceived [expletive]. What happens here is not what they tell you on television.
We are simple guys, we do what we are told and come here as cannon-fodder.
Without knowing why and what for.

See also:

Russian Paratroops in Ukraine: Lost in Media Haze (Video)

Read more