Russian soldier prisoner in Ukraine, the outburst: “Forgive me, I had good food and humanity here with you”

Of Irene Soave

In a press conference called by the Kiev army, the soldier said: “We thought it was an exercise, right up to the end.” More and more Russian soldiers are brought to the press conference by the Ukrainians

I ask your forgiveness: to all of Ukraine. Forgive me for coming here, I am deeply ashamed ». The Russian soldier bows his head. «Putin», he continues, «he only told lies, they forced us to come here. I want to ask forgiveness from all of Ukraine for coming here ».

The request for forgiveness of the Russian soldier imprisoned in Ukraine is awhich took place yesterday at a press conference organized by the Kiev army in Sumya city in the Northeast that is a crossroads for those who leave the country, something that the Russian soldier, at the time of his arrest, was trying to do: the prisoner of war, brought in front of reporters, he repeated several times “I am ashamed” and “sorry”, and added that “the Ukrainian soldiers treated me and my comrades well, they gave us good things to eat … our Russian army was giving us long-overdue food“. And again: «I enlisted on 23 June 2021, on 24 February 2022 we invaded Ukraine. Until the end they told us that it was just an exercise on Russian territory ».

The testimony of the soldier – who remained anonymous – made the rounds of the international media. It is added to a series of similar testimonies, made in the most public way possible and used by the Ukrainian army to communicate, especially to Western allies, what seem disturbing “backstories” of the military preparation of enemy soldiers, who have their cell phones removed ” because we do not search on the internet for news of the conflict ”and that – so it emerges in most of the testimonies of Russian prisoners in recent days – they often arrived in Ukraine believing they were part of an exercise, and that they were on Russian soil.

This is how it emerges, for example, from the speech of an anonymous tank driver, Thursday, in Kiev: his testimony was still “exhibited” as a document at a press conference of the Ukrainian army. “In Russia they consider us already dead,” said the soldier. “I was able to call my parents, not everyone will allow it. My folks say they’ve already arranged my funeral for me. If we return as prisoners exchanged, our compatriots will shoot us, out of shame ».

With him, on Thursday, at the press conference, there were ten other comrades. One of them spoke of “comrades killed by our fire, because they were mistaken for civilians, before my eyes”.

In a press conference on Friday, broadcast live by the Russian agency Interfax, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, 47th regiment, identified himself as Maxim Krishtop and told of orders he had received – and carried out – to “knowingly bomb civilian targets. I recognize the enormity of the crimes I have committed and I ask forgiveness from all of Ukraine ”, he concluded. Krishtop was taken prisoner on March 6.

The press conferences of captured soldiers are more and more numerous, and aim to show the unpreparedness of the Russians. But also the bad faith of their leaders. An anonymous commander captured on 10 March said on video that “The order to take Kharkiv in three days came directly from Putin” and that to execute it “we were ordered to bomb civilians”.


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