TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – A Russian soldier captured by Ukraine has made a statement denouncing the invasion of the Red Bear country. Thursday last week, news agency Unian Ukraine holds a press conference with three Russian prisoners. Footage from the event was shared online on line widely today, Monday, March 7, 2022.
The words of one of Astakhov’s prisoners Dmitry Mikhailovich stunned the public. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the special rapid response unit of the Russian National Guard.
Mikhailovich said his statement was not premeditated. He also said he was not under pressure or intimidation from his kidnappers in Ukraine.
He recounts the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to Mikhailovich, the order to move to Ukraine came suddenly and took his unit by surprise.
He and his colleagues were told that Ukraine was dominated by the fascist regime. Nationalists and Nazis have seized power in Ukraine and the Ukrainian people need help to get rid of them. “What is clear is that this information is one-sided information,” he said.
“Of course, we have internet, sometimes we get things from other sources. We have some doubts. We don’t know for sure the situation.”
He said he felt ashamed to come to Ukraine. “I feel ashamed to come to this country. I don’t know why we did it. We know very little. We bring sorrow to this land. We’re going to jail or whatever we deserve. We are ready for anything.”
He also felt sorry that many people in Russia were misinformed. “Some don’t even have internet. They have no alternative (state media). They are constantly being brainwashed,” he said.
“Perhaps I deserved this lesson, so that I can finally see it and try to tell it to those in Russia. They don’t realize what’s going on here.”
“For those who watched this video, you might think whatever you want about me, that I was coerced, bullied, or the text was pre-prepared. Whatever. I’ll give it to you straight.”
“If someone came to my territory I would do the same thing these people (Ukraine) did. And I would be right. Meanwhile I have to sit here and give excuses.”
As of Friday, the Russian government had blocked citizens’ access to Facebook and major foreign news outlets. Russia has also enacted a law to punish anyone who spreads false information about the invasion with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Mikhailovich went on to directly speak with other members of the Russian armed forces. “Guys, be brave. It’s easier for me already in this situation. You are in a tense situation, against your own commander. But this is genocide,” Mikhailovich said.
“Russia can’t win here. Even if we go to the end. We can attack the territory, but we can’t attack the people. We will not be able to defend this territory, and a complete void will be all around us.
“No one will talk to us, and that would be fair. A Russian would be ashamed to admit that he is Russian.
“Please, stop before it’s too late. Give us a chance to go home. Make the right choice. Go home. People had started to gather there, they had started to realize something. Our task is to avoid the complete destruction of these two countries.”
Mikhailovich gets emotional when he apologizes to Ukraine. “I can’t find the words to apologize to the Ukrainian people,” he said. He also added that he would understand if Russia was never forgiven.
Nevertheless, he urged Ukraine to keep the Russian combatants alive, capturing rather than killing them. “Many of them are just shy. They don’t want war. They don’t want to kill you Ukrainians. Believe me, it may sound strange, that the people who came to your land with guns didn’t mean to kill you. But no one wanted to kill.” he said.
“If you try to make sure as many of them die as possible, no one will return to Russia, and no one will explain what happened here. Even if a third of those who return will be able to talk about it properly, it will have. great benefit.
“Thank you, this will happen. And thanks to your country, you will be victorious not only physically, but also spiritually.
“I only sincerely wish you mercy on those who come to you with raised hands, or those who are injured. We should not sow death. It is better to sow life.”