Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday confirmed that an Israeli citizen was captured by pro-Russian separatists.
Vladimir Kozlovsky, an Israeli-Ukrainian citizen, was fighting alongside the Ukrainian army when he was captured in the separatist Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine.
Kozlovsky had tried to escape Ukraine after the Russian invasion with the assistance of the Israeli embassy but was detained at the border due to the Ukrainian draft. His wife and children left the country without him.
Sources in Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that despite the fact that Kozlovsky has been in Ukraine for several years, the fact that he is an Israeli citizen means that the Foreign Ministry is treating the case as it would for any Israeli citizen.
In a video published by the Luhansk Republic Military (LNR) Telegram account, Kozlovksy is seen showing his Israeli teudat zehut and heard saying [under coercion]: “We had weapons but we didn’t know how to use them. They sent us to the battlefield without training us. They didn’t tell us we were going to fight. We thought we would remain in western Ukraine but we reached the Luhansk region. They threw us there as cannon fodder.”
“We received messages from the Russians that it was better for us to surrender. We soldiers also spoke about it among us but the commanders tried to prevent us from talking about it. They told us that if we surrender, they’ll torture us to death, it’s better not to surrender alive.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)