Ukrainian army captain's death shows true cost of military escalation

Captain Anton Sidorov is one of the most recent victims of the soaring tensions between Russia and the West, reports ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo

Forget the read-outs from presidential phone calls, the ministerial visits, the strongly-worded statements, the Whitehall briefings to Sunday newspapers.

As Captain Anton Sidorov‘s coffin was lowered into the ground, the true cost of military escalation became clear. Relatives, friends and comrades of the 34-year chief reconnaissance officer killed by shrapnel last weekend were in tears as they buried him in Kyiv. “It's not just grief, it feels like something material has been torn off, like a part of your body,” said a heartbroken friend at his graveside.

Captain Anton Sidorov was a 34-year-old Ukrainian intelligence officer. Credit: ITV News

Capt Sidorov was not only a soldier but a singer and a songwriter who was already well-known in Ukraine after performing patriotic songs on a television show.

Wearing his army uniform, he sang his tribute to fallen soldiers in front of a studio audience in 2015, seven years before being killed on the frontline. Today his grieving family invited journalists to attend his funeral, asking us to share their anguish with the world.

Many Ukrainians might wonder how many more times they will see these heartbreaking scenes repeated.