He broke the law and left Russia: Pavel Filativ, a soldier who fought in Ukraine for two months before the Kremlin denounced the attack, is seeking political asylum in France. The 34-year-old soldier arrived in Roissy via Tunisia on Sunday and met with agents from the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra) on Monday. The reason? In early August, the paratrooper, who reenlisted last year in the Crimea-based 56th Regiment of Airborne Forces, published a reprimanding 141-page account on the social network Vkontakte after a brief absence from the army. The position of Russian troops and the war in Ukraine.
“When I found out that the order demanded that I be sentenced to fifteen years in prison for false information, I understood that I would not achieve anything here, and that my lawyers in Russia would not be able to do anything for me,” says Pavel Filativ. “We have no moral right to attack another country, which is a people very close to us,” writes the soldier, son of a soldier who served in the same 56th regiment, in this account.
He depicts a Russian army “in the same condition as Russia has been in recent years”, barely armed and untrained. “Every year, the bazaar and corruption become more and more pregnant,” explains Pavel Filative. “I don’t care about corruption, disorder, transgression of acceptable limits,” he adds, disillusioned soon after signing his contract. “The army is just as scary as Russian society,” he says, adding that only 10% of soldiers support the war, and most soldiers are afraid to speak out. “Those who are against the war are afraid of the consequences to say it and get out.”
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