A Russian soldier who defected after criticizing the invasion of Ukraine has written a long message on social media.
Pavel Filatyev appears to be the first Russian soldier to document the war in Ukraine in such detail, providing a day-by-day account of how the paratrooper unit was sent to Ukraine from Crimea.
Speaking to a journalist in Moscow shortly before he fled, he said that “I don’t see justice in this war. I don’t see the truth here.”
He continued that “I am not afraid to go to war, but I have to feel justice, to understand that what I am doing is right. And I believe that all of this is failing not only because the government has stolen everything, but because we, the Russians, do not think that what we are doing is right.”
With his unit, Filatyev entered Kherson and occupied the seaport before being attacked by Ukrainian heavy artillery for more than a month near Mykolaiv.
He was eventually evacuated when he was injured and developed a severe eye infection that nearly blinded him.
Filatyev left the country via an undisclosed route sometime after Saturday evening, when he set out to find an inn to spend the night. Two days later, Filatyev managed to escape from Russia.