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Responsibility for defeats: Former soldier about Kremlin boss: “I have no idea about the army”

responsibility for failure
Former soldier about Kremlin boss: “I have no idea about the army”

Not every Russian soldier is a war criminal, says Pavel Filatev. He himself served as a paratrooper in the Kremlin army. In a book about his experiences, Filatev wants to reveal the drastic consequences of President Putin’s mistakes for the work of the military.

The former paratrooper and author Pavel Filatev, who fled Russia, sees the defeats in the war against Ukraine as a personal responsibility of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. “He never served, he was never in the war and doesn’t know what the army is,” said the 34-year-old about Putin during a video link from Paris.

His book “ZOV. The forbidden report. A paratrooper unpacks” (Hoffmann and Campe Verlag) about Russia’s war in Ukraine will be published this Saturday. Filatev also blamed Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for running down the Russian armed forces. “You have no idea about the army,” Filatev said.

Even in Soviet times, the military was “not bad” and above all “competitive”. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, corruption took hold, the wrong people came to the military universities, who only had personal enrichment in mind and not the interests of the country. “Reforms can only be made by those who know what the army is,” he said.

Filatev demands a protest from the Russians

“I want my army to be strong and professional to protect the country.” Filatev made it clear that he had no interest in Russia or Ukraine losing in the war. “That would mean the deaths of countless soldiers.” Only the people of Russia could end the war by holding Putin accountable and demanding a troop withdrawal, Filatev said. After that, peace negotiations could begin. Filatev hopes that his book will help educate the people of Russia about the war, which he opposes, and make them responsible citizens who work for peace.

He didn’t want to provide “a bloody and detailed” description of the battle, but wanted to write down the thoughts of a soldier in the war. He also goes into war crimes such as “looting soldiers”, but such crimes exist everywhere. Filatev regretted that the Moscow power apparatus did not investigate and punish war crimes. This creates the false impression that every Russian soldier is a war criminal.

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