Mother of Russian soldier captured in Donbas asks for help in freeing her son

The mother of 22 year-old Russian Viktor Ageyev, who was captured in the vicinity of Ukrainian Luhansk, has asked for help in the release of her son, Radio Svoboda reported on June 29.

Svetlana Ageyeva’s appeal was sent to Alexander Goncharenko, chair of the Altaic division of the “Yabloko” party, who forwarded it to party leader Boris Vishnevsky at the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersberg.

Vinshevsky reportedly sent a letter to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu with a request to verify the information on Ageyev.

The text of the appeal written by Ageyev’s mother, a resident of Altai Krai, was published by “Novaya Gazeta”. In it, she says that her son Viktor had served in Bataysk in the Rostov province on a contractual basis since March 18, and was content with the work.

“The woman learned from BBC reporters that her son had been captured in Ukraine. The recruitment office did not explain anything to her. Ageyeva is asking for help in establishing how her son ended up in Ukraine, what conditions he is being kept in, and help in contacting him, releasing him and bringing him back home,” the article states.

On June 27, the Russian BBC service announced that on June 24 the Russian contract soldier Viktor Ageyev was captured by the Ukrainian military in the vicinity of Luhansk. His mother told BBC that in March 2017, Ageyev left to serve on a contractual basis in the city of Bataysk in the Rostov province.

Later the Russian Defense Ministry refuted this, saying that Viktor Ageyev was transferred to the reserve in May 2016, completing his compulsory service.

The Union of the Committees of Soldier’s Mothers called the Russian Defense Ministry’s statements a “dirty trick”. The union’s chairperson Valentina Melnikova said that Russia is putting the captured soldier’s life at risk. According to her, Russia has never abandoned its soldiers in the Ukrainian conflict.

Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary to the Russian President, said on June 29 that the Russian authorities could take steps to protect Ageyev.

Kyiv and Western countries accuse Russia of giving armed support to the separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin officially denies that Russian military personnel are involved in the Donbas conflict.

According to the Ukrainian authorities, there are at least five thousand Russian soldiers in the armed conflict zone in the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.

In May 2015, the Ukrainian authorities arrested Russian citizens Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev in the Luhansk province. According to Kyiv, they served in a special forces brigade of the Main Intelligence Directorate. The Russian command claimed that the detained persons had no connection to the army, because they were discharged several months before their arrest. They were later exchanged for the Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.

  Viktor Ageyev, Russian Troops in Ukraine