Lieutenant Colonel Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich, along with two other soldiers, was taken captive by Ukrainian forces as Putin’s ongoing invasion of the country has begun to stall. Mikhailovich gave a statement to reporters, essentially apologizing for his country’s actions and revealing that his fellow soldiers have been “brainwashed” into believing they are liberating Ukraine from a non-existent fascist regime.
“This is genocide,” Mikhailovich said in a televised address (via The Daily Mail), explaining he only realized that Putin’s explanation for the all-out assault on the country was a lie when he saw his two favorite professional boxers take up arms for the resistance. Mikhailovich said Russian leaders told soldiers that “nationalists and Nazis had seized power” in the top levels of Ukraine’s government, a story he realized wasn’t true when he witnessed regular civilians fighting back against Russian military units and bombs being dropped on heavily-populated civilian cities.
“Obviously, this information was unilateral information,” the colonel said, admitting he was ready to “go to jail” for his part in the invasion. “I feel shame that we came to this country. I don’t know why we were doing it. We knew very little. We brought sorrow to this land.”
This, out of #Ukraine, is 100% one of the most incredible videos I have ever seen.
This Russian POW has the heart of a lion 🦁 pic.twitter.com/KIx1rsN0CZ
— Jackie Singh 🇺🇦 🇺🇸 (@hackingbutlegal) March 6, 2022
Though it’s likely that the captured commander issued these statements under some type of duress, they match previous sentiments expressed by other captured Russian soldiers. Mikhailovich ended his address by begging for mercy for his fellow soldiers in captivity and urged Russians currently fighting in the country to take a hard look at what Putin’s been telling them.
“You are in a tense situation, going against your own commander. But this is genocide,” he said. “Russia cannot win here anyway. Even if we go until the very end. We can invade the territory but we cannot invade the people.”
(Via The Daily Mail)