MOSCOW, December 1 (RAPSI) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree pardoning Russian national Vladimir Starkov who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for “participation in aggressive war against Ukraine”, RIA Novosti reports Tuesday.

Ukrainian authorities earlier stated that a KAMAZ truck with an alleged Russian officer Starkov and ammunition had been arrested at the Berezovoye checkpoint in the Donetsk Region.

According to the statement posted on the official website of the Ukrainian president, Starkov was pardoned in order to release a Ukrainian officer who has been captured during the fighting for the Donetsk airport.

In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities began a military operation in Donbas against the local residents who objected to the coup. According to the UN’s latest data, over 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Ukrainian officials and some Western states have repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic issues.

Moscow has repeatedly claimed that it has had absolutely no part in the events in southeastern Ukraine and does not supply the self-defense forces with military equipment and ammunition; that it is not a party to the domestic Ukrainian conflict and is interested in Ukraine overcoming the political and economic crisis.