Givi pro-Russia Ukraine
Pro-Russia separatist commander "Givi" is seen smoking a cigarette, while other militiamen are sheltering in a building as shells are being fired.Youtube screenshot

The charm of pro-Russian rebel commander in Ukraine, Mikhail Tolstykh, has not gone unnoticed after videos of the so-called "model-soldier" emerged online.

The 34-year-old unmarried man, whose nickname is "Givi", is becoming an internet sensation after footage emerged of him smoking a cigarette unperturbed, while shells were being fired close to him.

In the footage, other militia men are seen running inside a building.

Following the video - which was publised one week ago, and has been watched over 800,000 times - Givi was interviewed by journalist Graham Phillips. During the interview, the commander gives his phone number after the journalist alleges that he was approached by dozens of girls who asked for it.

"What's wrong if people want to communicate? I am always for this," he said and then took a tablet from which he read out his number.

The commander revealed before the war he was an "ordinary man" but then decided to join the militia because he has "always supported the Russian federation and their policy".

"I have always been against the Ukrainian government, I don't hide it," he said.

When asked about becoming an internet star, he replied: "That's what my people do, not me. My battalion, my friends....I am just their commander."

Givi, is currently leading the "Somalia Battalion" in the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport, in eastern Ukraine, which started last month.

Ukraine's civil war erupted last April after the then president Viktor Yanukovych spurred a trade and investment deal with Europe, in favour of tighter collaborations with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

After a three-month conflict, which claimed the lives of more than 80 civilians, Yanukovych fled Ukraine and Russia invaded Crimea to "defend ethnic Russians" in the peninsula.

The invasion led to a civil war and the insurgence of pro-Russia separatists.

The death toll of Ukraine's civil war has surpassed 3,000, according to the UN's latest figures.