We were turned into absolute savages, says Russian ex-soldier

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A Russian former paratrooper who fought in Ukraine strongly criticized his superiors. “They have turned people into absolute savages,” writes Pavel Filatev in his report published online. He also believes Russia has illegally invaded the neighboring country, according to the 141-page story.

The Russian army is in a deplorable state, says Filatev. Long-outdated rations, hungry and undisciplined soldiers, rusty weapons, poor communication and unclear objectives: the extensive story is in line with previous reports from and about Russian soldiers.

In this tweet you can see a picture of Filatyev:

The 34-year-old describes how his unit began looting after the capture of the port of Kherson. Everything of value was taken, such as computers. But the paratroopers were primarily looking for food. “We ate whatever we had if we wanted. We didn’t care for anything else. Most of us had spent a month outside without comfort, showers or normal food.”

According to Filatjev, leaders do not care at all about the well-being of their men. He gives advances to Kherson as an example. “We were an ideal target,” writes the ex-soldier. He describes the soldiers riding in outdated and unarmoured jeeps and sometimes standing still for 20 minutes. There were also killed and wounded as a result of shelling from other units. “It was unclear what the plan was and, as always, nobody knew anything.”

The complaining optant writes that he does not want to justify his and his comrades’ actions. However, he finds it important to clarify why soldiers display such behaviour. “The soldier knows that such a computer is worth more than his salary. And no one knows if he will still be alive tomorrow.”

Russian armed forces have not committed any war crimes in his immediate vicinity, Filayev says based on what he has seen. However, he describes that there is a lot of anger among the armed forces. According to him, reports by Russian state media that everyone supports the war are wrong.

“Most soldiers are unhappy. With Putin and his policies and the defense minister who never served in the army.”

The truth is that we have invaded Ukraine.

Pavel Filatev, former Russian Army paratrooper

Filatev fled Russia on the advice of relatives, but before that he spoke to a journalist from The Guardian in Moscow. The Russian has shown documents and photos confirming that he was stationed as a paratrooper with the 56th Airborne Brigade in Crimea.

Eye infection

Filatyev was injured while “performing special duties in Ukraine,” the official documents say. He said he contracted an eye infection as a result of artillery fire. In total, he spent about two months at the front. The papers would also show that the former soldier first sent his complaints to the Kremlin. Only then did he seek publicity, according to the newspaper.

“It may not change anything, but I refuse to participate any further in this madness. Ethically, it would be easier if Ukraine had attacked us. But the truth is that we have invaded Ukraine.”

Criticism of the war in Ukraine is forbidden in Russia, where one can only speak of a ‘special military operation’. Besides Filayev, a few soldiers have spoken openly about the war and their role in it.

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