A Russian commander captured by Ukraine condemned Moscow’s “genocide” invasion – saying in a remarkable televised statement that the troops were duped into believing Kyiv had been overthrown by Nazis and needed liberating.
National Guard Lt. Col. Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich, who was captured along with two other soldiers, said that he had been told they were being sent to help Ukraine because it was “dominated by a fascist regime” and that “nationalists and Nazis had seized power.”
“Obviously, this information was unilateral information,” Mikhailovich told reporters in a video that emerged Monday.
The colonel said his doubts were further confirmed when he found out that his favorite boxers, Ukrainians Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, planned to fight for the resistance.
The captive begged for “mercy” from Ukrainians and said he was ready to “go to jail” for taking part in the brutal offensive.
“I feel shame that we came to this country,” the colonel said. “I don’t know why we were doing it. We knew very little. We brought sorrow to this land.”
Telling reporters that he was speaking freely, the high-ranking officer apologized to the Ukrainian citizens, who have come under direct fire by the invading forces.
“I cannot find the words to say sorry to the Ukrainian people,” Mikhailovich said, adding he would understand if Russia was never forgiven.
The POW also urged Ukraine to let Russian troops live.
“Many of them are just embarrassed. They do not want war,” the downcast man said.
“I just sincerely hope for your mercy toward those people who come to you with their hands up, or those who are wounded. We should not sow death — it’s better to sow life,” he said.
Mikhailovich urged his troops to “be brave” and oppose their commanders.
“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.”
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