As fighting escalates between government troops and rebels in eastern Ukraine, despite the February ceasefire, euronews met with a captured Russian officer, who explains how he was recruited to assist the separatists on Ukranian territory.
Vladimir Starkov was arrested on July 25 with a truck full of ammunition at Berezove checkpoint. He was going from Donetsk to the village of Yasne, in rebel-held territory, but lost his way and was intercepted by a Ukrainian border patrol.
Euronews met him in the detention center in Kyiv where he was sent after his arrest.
“At the time of I was detained, I was a regular serviceman in the armed forces of the Russian Federation with the rank of Major. I was chief of missile and artillery weapons service in the military unit in the Russian city of Novocherkassk”, says Starkov.
Questioned by the Ukranian security service, he said that around 2,000 Russian servicemen are currently deployed in Eastern Ukraine.
Many of them did not volunteer, just