Alexander Alexandrov, GRU Spetsnaz, captured in Ukraine

Ukraine on Monday accused two captured Russian servicemen of having killed Ukrainian troops in fighting in its east and said they would be prosecuted for “terrorist acts”.

The soldiers from the 3rd Guards Spetsnaz Brigade, have been identified :

  • Capt. Yevgeny Yerofeyev, 18 January 1985, Kuibyshev
  • Sgt. Alexander Anatolievich Alexandrov, 7 January 1987, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

The Ukrainians seized on the capture of the two Russians, both wounded, to support their accusations of direct Russian military involvement in the separatist conflict despite a ceasefire signed in February. Russia denied any role there.

In a video posted online by the Ukrainian interior ministry, one of the prisoners gave his name as Alexander Alexandrov. He said he had been on a spying mission in Ukraine as part of a 14-member special forces group from the central Russian town of Togliatti.

We were discovered. I was wounded in the leg as I tried to get away … We’ve been here 4-5 days

The capture and possible prosecution of the two Russians and the potential embarrassment for Russia’s Vladimir Putin come as the United States and its European Union allies press Moscow to fully implement the Minsk peace accords as a step to ending the crisis.