Pavel Filatyev was on the front lines when Russia invaded Ukraine, invading the city of Kherson. Filatyev has now defected from the Russian military and is speaking out about what it was like for soldiers.
CBS News reports that a Russian soldier defected, explaining that he and his comrades were lied to and that the Ukrainian war was wrong.
Russian Paratrooper Pavel Filatyev defected, after realizing the war in Ukraine was not a fight against NATO — but Ukrainians.— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) August 26, 2022
He says some Russian soldiers were so desperate to be sent home, “they would deliberately shoot themselves in the legs.” pic.twitter.com/ie1GECvXRz
Russian soldier defects
Putin orders an increase of 137,000 troops in his army. However, a CBS News correspondent talks to a paratrooper about the growing resentment among the young men being sent across the border.
1/ A 34-year-old former Russian paratrooper, Pavel Filatyev, has published a remarkable in-depth account of his experiences of the Ukraine war. He served with the Feodosia-based 56th Guards Air Assault Regiment and fought in southern Ukraine for two months. A 🧵 follows. pic.twitter.com/upGQAejb12— ChrisO (@ChrisO_wiki) August 17, 2022
Paratrooper Pavel Filatyev broke ranks and told his story, even though he risked his personal safety. Many Russian soldiers on the front lines had no idea they had just invaded Ukraine. They thought NATO was advancing, not Ukraine. One Russian soldier told that he felt deceived and that Russian state television showed nothing of reality. He said the Russian paratrooper brigade has a similar attitude to the U.S. Navy Seals.
Filatyev said he and his comrades had been forced to steal supplies, but some had gone too far.
He said human greed takes over when soldiers think they could die tomorrow. Filatyev said he did not want to believe this was true. But when he realized the truth, he realized that many of his comrades went to the extreme of not fighting Ukraine.
It is clear from this article that life as a Russian soldier in Ukraine is not an easy one. This soldier’s account of the conditions and treatment he and his fellow soldiers receive is eye-opening, to say the least.
It is no wonder that so many Russian soldiers have deserted their posts and fled back to Russia. If this is what Putin’s war in Ukraine is like, it is no wonder that there is so much opposition to it both inside and outside of Russia.