Russian paratrooper left the country after publishing his anti-war story about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – Mediazona

In early August, the anti-war story “ZOV” by 33-year-old Russian paratrooper Pavel Filatiev, who fought in Ukraine and took part in the capture of Kherson, appeared on the net. Mediazona spoke with Filatiev after his departure from Russia.

In the story, he sharply criticized the army command, called the Russian invasion senseless and criminal, and also reported on looting and lack of medicines in field hospitals. The paratrooper said that the idea of ​​the book came to him in the second month of shelling: “If I survive, I will do everything to change this. Somehow it so happened that I returned alive, I realized that the promise must be kept.

Where exactly is Filatiev, he does not say. The serviceman clarifies that at first he was very afraid that he would be killed, and he was preparing for this. At the same time, he resigned himself to the fact that he would die during the war in Ukraine, and now he has nothing to lose. The paratrooper notes that he left the Russian Federation only in order to "try to change something in Russia."

Filatiev told the publication that in April he returned from the war to his military unit in Feodosia, he was given a vacation for two weeks. The serviceman began calling his acquaintances to explain something about the war, but he was told that “you can’t say that, you can’t say“ war ”, you need to be more careful.”

“For me, it was already wild: like I came from the war, but you can’t say“ war ”. Such a substitution of concepts, a madhouse. Then I realized that society does not understand how to behave, what position to take: they seem to understand that the war in Ukraine is bad, but they want to support their servicemen who are at war. On the other hand, they are afraid of the government. I've been digesting this for a long time and I still can't digest it. But the country has changed a lot.”

According to him, now the Russians are intimidated and everyone is trying to choose words.

According to Filatiev, initially the command did not give him the opportunity to quit, he was blackmailed with a criminal article if he did not return to Ukraine. Then the paratrooper left the territory of the unit, although many comrades fell for threats and blackmail. After the publication of the story, not a single military man called him a traitor or a coward, Filatiev emphasizes. Most of his colleagues thanked him and supported him, while they themselves do not know how to act. The paratrooper notes that he does not have a wife and children, so he does not need to be responsible for anyone.

At the same time, he believes that apologies to Ukrainians are “inappropriate”: in his opinion, you can apologize when a person “stepped on another’s foot.” Saying “I’m sorry” is inadequate now, he notes. Filatiev added that all the money from the sale of his book will go to help Ukrainians affected by the war. “I wanted to show with this act that just saying “I’m sorry” is stupid,” he concluded.

Earlier, The Insider obtained an archive of complaints to the Russian military prosecutor's office, which reflects the real situation that developed during the war in Ukraine. The Insider and Bellingcat were able to verify the authenticity of the emails in this archive. The appeals state that conscripts are being thrown into the combat zone in Ukraine by deceit or coercion, soldiers are not provided with proper food and medical care, contract soldiers deliberately violate all the rules and regulations of the charter in order to be removed from service, and parents cannot get any information about their captured or killed children. Also from the documents it was possible to learn about the looting of Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

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