Interrogator: So this is from your division?
Interrogator: Introduce yourself, please.
Milchakov: I'm from the Russian Federation, my name is Artyom Valeryevich Milchakov, born 7 June, 1995.
Interrogator: Where did you serve?
Milchakov: I don't understand.
Interrogator: You're serving, correct?
Milchakov: I serve in the city of Kostroma, Russian Federation, at army base 71211, 331th Parachute Paratroopers Regime, 98th Airborne Division
Milchakov: Title 2 [inaudible]
Interrogator: Do you know that you are now illegally on the territory of Ukraine?
Milchakov: I guessed. But I realized it when they already began to bomb us.
Interrogator: Ah-hah. How did you end up on Ukrainian territory?
Milchakov: We went in convoys. Not on the roads but through the fields. I didn't even see where we crossed the border.
Interrogator: Understood. But did you know were going to Ukraine?
Milchakov: We knew.
Interrogator: And...your purpose?
Milchakov: They didn't tell us anything. They just said we were going on a march for 70 kilometers, on a 3-day trip.
Interrogator. Ah-hah. Can you take that? It's your dog-tag?
Milchakov: Yes, it's my dog-tag.
Interrogator: Read it.
Milchakov: Armed Forces of Russia SU 108012
Interrogator: Can I have that? "VS [Armed Forces] of Russia. SU-108012"
Tell me...your personal opinion...Why did they send you here?
Milchakov: My personal opinion? My personal opinion, if it were up to me, I wouldn't have stuck my nose in...I think Ukraine is also independent. If there are some kind of problems, then let them resolve them internally....themselves. But for outsiders shouldn't stick their nose in.
Interrogator: On your page on VKontakte...There's this phrase..."I'm being sent to Rostov once again. To the war. To wipe out Maidan. I'm leaving Monday." So here it is. Is there such a phrase? Is that yours?
Milchakov: Yes, it's mine.
Interrogator: Can you provide some commentary?
Milchakov: Provide commentary? At that moment, they didn't tell us anything concrete. There were just rumors. But everyone understood...what would happen. We're going to Rostov. Since there will be a training battalion.
Interrogator: So then what does "wiping out Maidan" have to do with that.
Milchakov: Well, sort of...it's embarrassing even to say...I just wanted to show off in front of my friends, I guess. That's why I wrote that.
At that moment, we didn't know, we were told, on the television, there were rumors going around... in our country, in Russia, "Bandera," it will do anything, but the militia, that's good. But coming here, and winding up in captivity, it was explained to us, and they opened our eyes to the truth, what is really going on. We didn't even know why we were going here. We went here, and that's it. We just lost our way. They shot us with mortar shells. Then from the Russian side, they shot with Grads as well.
Interrogator: Your own people?
Milchakov: [Nods head several times.]
They brainwash us Russians, I'll tell you that. In fact, everything is different. Not the way they say on television. But we simple guys, they tell us what to do, we do it. We're coming here like cannon fodder. We don't know why, or for what reason. That's it.
Interrogator: Thank you.
Milchakov: So I send love to everyone. To Mama, Papa, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa. My beloved Grandfather Oleg, it's so hard for him now, and when he finds out, it will be even harder for him.
To the commanders, I would call on you not to hide from soldiers, what's going on and where we're going...and they said...we're like blind cats, going along.