Russian army officer who wrote book criticising war in Ukraine leaves Russia to avoid persecution

Russian army officer and author of the book on the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Pavel Filatyev has left Russia, head of the human rights project Vladimir Osechkin said on Facebook.

Pavel Filatyev. Screenshot: Dozhd TV channel

Pavel Filatyev. Screenshot: Dozhd TV channel

“The team of has managed to help paratrooper Pavel Filatyev leave Russia and evacuate him before his arrest,” Osechkin said, adding that they do not disclose the route and other details for security reasons.

On 10 August, IStories* published excerpts from Filatyev’s book dubbed ZOV. In it, the paratrooper writes about “the state of the army and the situation on the frontline after two months spent in Ukraine”. “The main cause [of Russia’s failures in Ukraine] is that we did not have the moral right to attack another country, especially the nation closest to us. <…> When it happened, I did not know a lot of people who believed in Nazis and I definitely didn’t know many people who wanted to go to war with Ukraine. There was no hatred and we did not consider the Ukrainian people our enemies,” the book says.

*The Russian government considers IStories an “unfavourable organisation”. Reposting this news article in Russia may lead to a fine. A repeat offence may lead to criminal charges.

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