Мені сподобалось, як мене взяли в полон! Відверте інтерв'ю з російським офіцером-спецназівцем
Hello everyone, my name is Lubomir Ference, this is Lviv.Media channel. Thank you for watching, liking, sharing and commenting In the history of the Lviv.Media channel, I have never presented a person with whom I spoke But today we have a special occasion. We are going to talk to an officer of a special forces unit. His name is Stas Trutnev
That's the peculiarity of this conversation. Stas refused to give me an interview for almost two months Every time I came to camp I would talk to him, we talked to him a lot. Every time I asked him for an interview so he would agree to talk But it wasn't happening. And then last week Stas agreed to give me an interview
Stas Trutnev is a lieutenant in the 140th Special Operations Detachment with underwater divisions and facilities Military unit 68069 from Vidyaevo settlement in Murmansk region If you search the Russian Wikipedia for the abbreviation ПДСС: Submarine Subversive Forces and Assets These are reconnaissance diving units of the Soviet and Russian Navy for operations behind enemy lines In other words, Stas Trutnev is a marine of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation Stas Trutnev was captured by a special unit of the Main Directorate of Intelligence in the north of the Kharkiv region this summer This is a long interview. It is an interview with a man who has two college degrees It was very interesting for me personally. I consider it one of the best in this period of my conversations with prisoners of war Please subscribe to the channel Lviv.Media. Like, comment and share these videos with your friends
Because, as I say every time - this video will not be shown on the federal TV channels. My name is Lubomir Ference, this is Lviv.Media channel - Let's start. What is your full name? -Trutnev Stanislav Igorevich -What is your date of birth? -06/22/1989 -Where are you from? -I am from Murmansk -Where did you live? -In Murmansk -Do you have children, a wife? -I have a son Sviatoslav, I am divorced. My son is four years old.
-Are you from the regular troops? -Yes -You signed a contract right out of enlistment ? -Yes I had a gap between enlistment and contract. I went to a military university I went to two universities at once, and then I decided to sign a contract. -What universities? -I studied to be a physical education teacher at Moscow State University for the Humanities And the other is University of Cooperation. Personnel Handling Manager -You have an officer's rank? -Yes -Which one? -Lieutenant -What troops? -Motorized rifle troops Platoon commander of motorized riflemen -Platoon is how many people? -It varies, but in my platoon there were 30 soldiers -You've been on the contract for a long time, right? -Yes -How long? -12 years -How much do you earn? -The salary is 90k - 100k rubles -That's average, right? -That's my current salary -It was in Russia? -Yes -Before invading into Ukraine, how much were you promised? -Approximately 8k per day, additionally to my salary -8k. If we multiply 8 by 3 that's 240 -340
-So 340k - 400k, you're a good specialist then if you earn this much -That's the sum they pay me -So everything's officially transferred to a card, right? When did you invade Ukraine? -On the 3rd of July -Which direction? -Kharkiv region, Dementiyivka settlement -What tasks was your platoon given? -To capture the hill, then find out where's Kharkiv artillery and capture or destroy it -Was the mission completed? -Yes, partially -What does that mean? You took... -I got the hill and captured 10 of your soldiers But I couldn't hold the elevation -Why? -The reinforcement didn't arrive that was supposed to get a foothold. At night was an attack by SRG, who appeared to be your special forces And when an attack happened I tried to retrieve my unit, I retrieved everyone, none of my men were killed or injured, but only I got injured. I had gotten a gunshot wound under the arm, my ribcage and lung were pierced And your forces found me unconscious and I woke up in hospital in Kharkiv -So you were captured unconscious -Yes -What happened with the others? -The rest left, I retrieved them. I was the last to leave -So you... -I held the position while other people were trying to leave
The last 2 who remained with me, they saw how I was shot by a person in the bushes, whom I didn't see, and he point blank emptied a magazine into me -When did that happen? When were you captured? -10-11 of July -So you didn't fight for long, for a week -Kind of -Where was that? What elevation should it have been? -Dementiyivka, there's like a hump there, but it's the highest From the top of it you could see the directions of all roads That is, where is the ammunition supply, where is the reloading and there is a large open field from where you can see how the artillery works -You said you captured 10 people, was it AFU on that hump? -Yes -So you captured them and what happened with them next? -I assigned an escort to the territory of Russia -So they were captured thanks to you, yes? -Yes -I talked to many people here, with motorized riflemen, but I'll admit, there's a wise soldier in front of me There were no such stories about someone taking hostage Ukrainian soldiers, took elevation and so on So you're a representative of some unique motorized riflemen, because I spoke with many and they are just nothing -I'm a re-qualified officer, who earlier on was a soldier participating in Syria, I have battle experience and I have some good knowledge regarding my work -Where in Syria... -I was a marine -Where did you participate in Syria? -In Khmeimim and Tartus, guarding, as well as cargo escort -What kind of cargo? -Humanitarian aid -Some say you fought against ISIS. Did you participate in any of that? -There were some skirmishes during escorts -How long did you fight in Syria? -4 months -Other hot spots? Tripoli? Benghazi? -No -It's in Lebanon -I didn't participate there -From what I heard Russians took part in it unofficially Africa? -I didn't participate. I only participated in Syria and here -You have parents, right? -Yes, mother -Only mother, yes? How did they react to what you were doing? -Of course they're worried and don't want me to be a soldier I have good civilian education even on communicating with personnel. I can be a teacher I have two specialized secondary educations and two higher educations One education is an automobile mechanic, and the other is a teacher at a vocational school The third education is a teacher of physical education and tourism and the fourth in the work with special forces -Why did you stay in army? -Because I studied in 2 universities and had to pay for both Civic work provides training, and the army always gives you time, that is, they give you extra time off so you can go and study That was the most optimal choice at the time Next, when you go on service, I finished my first contract and accumulated money for my flat in Murmansk And continued to go in that direction, because there was a career growth and after a certain age we retire Since I'm serving for a long time, I have 2 years left before retirement Northern pension is the minimal pension I can get as a contractor -And maximal? -Maximal is 30 years of service, I'd need to do 5 more years -And what the pension will be like? -It depends on the rank and title I leave with If I were to leave now, I'd have a pension of 50k rubles -Am I correct? You were raised only by your mother -Yes -Who did she work as? -Teacher of physical culture and fitness trainer -So if not for the army, it would be hard for your mom to pay for your education and so on -I tried not to involve my mom, because she was of conscious age. I didn't want to ask her, but she had the money to help me
-So you consciously chose army? -Yes -Look, Stas, it was July, you knew what was appening in Ukraine -Yes -You consciously went here -Yes -Question - why? -Here I was undergoing a re-qualification and you could say this was my first officer task -There was no task of such level in Syria? -No. I wasn't a commander then in Syria -It was a re-qualification for you, you're a commander. Is this war or Special Operation to you? -It's Special Operation to me, because to us it was a small... If I had delayed it would've been war to me
But back then it was Special Operation to me -Are you saying this sincerely? -Right now yes You know, to me being a soldier... -Let's get on a first-name basis -I'm used to addressing people formally For me, being a soldier means fighting another soldier, meaning that we show our prowess and skills to each other For us, soldiers, it's an optimal thing It's clear you can't involve civilians or anyone else in this, but we came here to show our prowess to another I can tell you this, obviously it's on camera and so on, I'll tell you directly I like how behaved your reconnaissance group while capturing me I don't feel hatred or irritation to your soldiers, at that moment I felt a bit of admiration Because as a soldier I received interesting life experience Clearly I could've been left there dead in the ground, but to me, as a soldier, it was interesting Because like I said, one soldier met another one -I understand all that, but... there are armies who fight for something, it's not just classic shooters I'll switch to formal basis as well You had an idea to show yourself, like a soldier against a soldier. To you this remains as Special Operation It still is, right? -At the moment it turned into war Because a Special Operation can't last more than a year -Yes Actually, more than half a year and in July it was over that Anyway, this isn't paintball, although there you can show endurance, pride and so on I understand here, because you're playing with life and death, the stakes are mu ch higher But there are 2 sides, 2 of them fight for something, it's normal things For example, saying that you've come here to prove yourself and have respect to AFU soldiers, okay, that's good Explain to me what you and what Russian soldiers fight for in Ukraine -For the interests of our country -Ok, list me them -Why? You understand that a contractor has an order: interests of the country in this situation: what interests, how is it Even in our bylaw it states that we complete the order and then discuss it This is what we're discussing. You have carried out your orders. We can discuss it. We can discuss it now, Stas. Okay, now. Then my main task was to find the artillery that struck Belgorod from that place There was shelling of Belgorod when we first landed, locals were injured, a house was damaged Was it the Ukrainians who shelled? Yes. The strike came from the Ukrainian side. The school was also hit
So, from the side of Ukraine the "Point U" hit I understand that at that time combat operations were already going on, different units were located, they wanted to hit the unit. But they hit a residential house It's understandable, it happens. And "Point U" is not the most accurate weapon at the moment. And you had no other weapons. You were just getting new weapons at the time And everyone makes mistakes. But my task was to find and disarm this technique And besides, capture that hill and find out where the firings are coming from Okay, I can agree with that. But we're talking... -If you're talking about the general sense... -The general sense, yes.
-It's a local thing -I know I was given a task, and I understood why I was doing it. Generally speaking, there were different interests. You had an interest in joining NATO, Russia had an interest in protecting Donetsk and Lugansk. But at that moment we weren't thinking about the interests We thought only of the specific task and the order we received Because in June I was still in the military and was on a deployment where I was training It had nothing to do with combat operations. And I got a telegram: I have to move out -If, as you say, I were interested... For all I know, you could have said no. No, we have no right to refuse. What you call refusal to me means an end to the service.
That's it. My service is over. Refusal means leaving the armed forces of the Russian Federation It's like telling the rescuer: That man over there needs to be saved. And the rescuer will say: he's a criminal, I'm not going to save him. That's the kind of rescuer you get fired, right? After all, a rescuer's duty is to rescue. My duty as a military man is to participate in combat. I see that I can agree with that.
Imagine a soldier who is told to go, and he asks what for? Orders are orders. The soldier does not need to be told what the order is for. The only thing he has to think about during combat operations is who is a civilian and who is not. He must understand that. You can't fight civilians, you can't fight children. You can only fight another warrior.
This is the rule of our soldiers. And here we have the right to refuse I agree. But somehow it comes out that way... But you should understand that not all soldiers... You see, you even understand the question I want to ask next Not every serviceman is a soldier. As the saying goes there are bad apples in the bunch. -You have a lot of apples like that -I understand. We have a big country. There are a lot of them. I want to hear your opinion. We are now talking in a POW camp. How do you feel when you are with convicted criminals?
Who were recruited by your native Russian Ministry of Defense. As a seasoned member of the military What I think of them. I've been talking to them here. They're different. One of them is convicted of stealing a bicycle So far I haven't talked to him. I've met people convicted of robbery, murder, drugs... All right. I know one convicted drug offender... Robberies and murders... I mean the moral aspect You know, a lot of them are remorseful for their actions These are their personal sins. I mean - you asked me how do I deal with them in a human way? I don't consider them servicemen and soldiers.
That's not what I mean. The Defense Ministry is now very active in recruiting cons. It's doing what the Wagner Group is doing I do not support the recruitment of imprisoned people They are cornered. I don't know if they are cornered. Everyone has their own story. Some were offered freedom. It wasn't like, "Take it or we'll kill you. If he was offered freedom - he went for his own interest, not because of duty But as an officer and commander, I would not want to command such people. I do not support the presence of such people in the army -Stas, you do realize that the war will end someday -Of course. -The war will end someday -All wars end All wars end with one result or another. You say that as a soldier you have to follow orders without discussing them.
You were present during our collective conversation. There was an analogy with the German burghers They also said: We are simple burghers, it's not our fault, don't blame us. I always ask the question: what is the general idea of this war on Russia's part? Because on the Ukrainian side every soldier can explain what he is fighting for He can easily give several reasons Russian soldiers have a problem with that. Yes, I make no secret of the respect I have for you. I see you as an experienced professional military man.
A military man who understands something and knows how to do something But I can't hear it from you even... Stas, we're all human. We're all thinking, you're not the dumbest person. I can tell you that I see the elite of the Russian army in front of me People will be watching us... If even the elite cannot explain the common goal of Russia
Where are we going as a country, as Russia? Do you understand what I am saying? I understand. But here's the situation: we can only discuss our personal thoughts about the purpose of the war The master plan is never known until it is executed We have small tasks. But the overall plan can be so global and have such goals that we can't even guess Perhaps this war is to exhaust other countries. Maybe it's to take over territories. We don't know that. That's why I can't explain. As you mentioned, I served for many years. We often did some tasks, and it was not until a few years later that we found out their purpose
-Okay, it's been a few years... -It hasn't been yet. It's been a few years. What was Russia fighting for in Syria? Well, look, we had a 50-year treaty. The city of Heimim, that's where our military base is In addition, President Assad has called in Russian troops to help Here's what happens next: C300, C400 weapons are installed there to protect the air over Russia. Next, economic cooperation with Assad. Seaports. There are already a lot of targets. Okay. It was all clear at first, no one was hiding it. There were rebels on one side and Bashar Assad on the other
And ISIS on the third side. These are the three sides at war inside the country Bashar Assad asked Putin for help. There is a whole tangle in Syria, Turkey and so on This is understandable. But what happened in Ukraine? Where did it all start? Because to get to the finals, you have to see the starting point We had a start in 2014: Donetsk and Lugansk. That was the beginning.
Was it a war? Well, the Donetsk and Lugansk republics have already had a war with Ukraine -With Ukraine. So you're saying it was a civil war? -Yes Good. I am talking with an understanding person. I always make this argument, but not everyone even knows what I'm talking about. -Igor Strelkov -Girkin. You know who I'm talking about? -Yes
He seems to be a lieutenant colonel or colonel of the FSB I was in Slaviansk when Slaviansk was taken. When all this movement started I watched Srelkov yesterday, he was talking nonsense again. Something like that Russia should not go on the attack now, because it would lose a lot of resources and would achieve nothing But that's not what I mean right now. He clearly said: "In 2014, I pulled the trigger of the war."
What is your opinion: would Luhansk and Donetsk be able to implement all this without Moscow's participation? -Without Russian support: volunteers, weapons, and so on -Without support? -Without Igor Strelkov-Girkin -I think someone else would have come along -Somebody would surely show up -But that somebody from Russia, right? Well, if this region bordered Turkey - a man from Turkey would show up You understand that if some other country was bordering on Donetsk and Lugansk, and it had an interest But what is Russia's interest? Look, you did not answer my question You cleverly evaded the answer. You said neither yes nor no. You said if there was another country it would use the situation -I don't know another answer -Yes, but from what you said, I understand that you are more in agreement yes than no Because how did the logical chain sound: "If there was another country, it would use the situation as well" That's it, we a put a dot to this situation - it's not a civil war, it's the beginning of war between countries Because FSB, Colonels, volunteers, weapons and so on are present there Russia used the situation to start a fire -I don't think it was done for that -Then for what? -You know my opinion, I can't say why, but it wasn't for starting a fire Because it's not beneficial, a human resource is, after all, a human resource I understand that there are big losses -What do you mean by human resource is a human resource? -It's hard to replenish. Right now, yes. But at the moment, you can see yourself -For Ukraine, yes, it's big losses -It's big losses for Russia, too -From what I see and hear, no, it's not -No, it's big losses for us as well How much does it take to educate a man, train him and send him to war? To make a normal fighter? He has to be raised first After that, invest money into him. We can't send an ordinary school student He needs some knowledge, technical knowledge -Stas, why did guys aged 18 and 19 sit in front of me before? They don't know much in life There's a guy here to whom I speak, he's 18 years old We called his mom, this whole table here was filled with his tears. That's Russia, Stas -Like I said, it takes a lot of time to prepare a good soldier If a person can't be a good soldier, he's sent to do what he can -Okay, what's your point? -That losses of human resource is a big loss So like you said to provoke a war, that meant there had to be big human resource losses Provocation of a war always means a big war, right? If it's being provoked As a result there's an internal civil war, people inside the country are dying -It's not an internal civil war, that's how Russia wants to imagine it, it is fire that started between Ukraine and Russia I think this was already a conflict in 2014 between Russia and Ukraine -You see, this is from your side because you live here. I can't explain to you why I think this way, it's merely my assumption, because I didn't live here at the time But I spoke to people from Donetsk and Luhansk, they were all against the coup d'etat in 2014, the Maidan A lot of people were against any of it and wanted to separate Those were their words, I spoke to many of them So from their words, there was a civil war here It's clear that my mass media says something, I don't plan to believe any of that Your mass media says something, which I don't believe either. But people that were here and said from this place "We don't want to live like this"
They told me that At least for them it was a civil war For me, as a soldier, I was called, I came -Donetsk and Luhansk -No, I'm speaking for my own government -I'll finish my sentence No one from Russians can name the goals of the war. Everyone forgot about demilitarization, denazification and desatanization. It's all in the past Whatever Putin said, no one talks about it anymore, because it's some perplexity, but that's not my question I'm talking to a professional military man right now. Does taking the capital mean taking the country? -Maybe, but I think it'd require an overthrow of the authority and a replacement of the president or to let the president make a few conditions about Donetsk and Luhansk At that moment, I mean -We're talking about Kyiv -Yes Even if we were to enter Kyiv, the equipment moved in a colony, it didn't destroy anything on it's path, it just moved as a colony Like everyone says they even moved like a parade -Stas, that's just ridiculous Equipment just moving in colony? That's ridiculous Murmansk is close to Finland, right? -Yes -Can the equipment just drive into Finland? It's a fact -I understand it's a fact. I saw the video, but I also saw the video of it moving
until it began getting ambushed -Stas, that's normal -It didn't start firing first, did it? -Stas, Stas... -I know, but in your directions people blocked the roads and the equipment stopped You had the same -In 2014, yes, I personally saw it, but not in 2022 -Why? In 2022 there was in some city, where people came outside -Oh when the tractors covered the roads, no, we're talking about... -I mean that it could've been solved the same way -Why? It's an invasion, Stas -I understand that It's an invasion. Military equipment is moving towards the capital, so people were supposed to stop tanks, BTRs and so on?
When Kyiv was shelled... -It turned out to be a working method -When there was no Ukrainian army in 2014? -No, I mean you had the stopping as well. Your TV showed that in one town people stood up, built barricades and wrote "Don't come here, Russia" Did you have that? -I don't know -I mean that civilians were able to stop it without a bloodshed -Stas, a group of 150k people invade Ukraine, you believe that civilians were supposed to stop it? -No, I mean without bloodshed -Stop, Stas, I'm asking again, I have a clear question Your assumption is that civilians were supposed to stop 150k soldiers? -No, not civilians, it's supposed to be the military. The army exists to fight, they were supposed to stop it But it would somehow decrease the deaths maybe? Because when there was a response, another one came up You should understand as well, 150k people, the group took off, they had an order, so they moved forward -I understand that, Stas -And they were fired at. Were they supposed to shoot back where they were fired at?
It was supposed to be like that, right? -If they invaded with equipment: with tanks, BTRs, and so on, means they had a task Their task was to take Kyiv and other cities -Kyiv wouldn't be taken, no one wanted to. I see no point in taking Kyiv -Russians? -Yes -They were going at Kyiv, they entered the beginning of Kyiv -Do you remember you had the same when the equipment arrived... -Stas, what was the point of taking Bucha, murdering civilians and creating mass graves? The same happened in Izium and many more towns -Izium, I don't know, I spoke to many people from Izium. During the unit's presence there weren't that many deaths in Izium For some reason there weren't as many There were many prisoners of war here, right? You remember these young guys, they were captured in Izyum.
Yes! But they clearly said they didn't see anything. Because a lot of them... "We weren't there, we didn't know," and so on. Stas, I'll tell you straight up. Out of my hundred of interviews, about 60-70 percent... I'm... Let's keep it on a first-name basis. We talked a lot before the interview, it's hard for me to use "you".
I'm seriously telling you. Sixty to seventy percent tell me "we didn't shoot, we were deceived." I assert this as a journalist. We have recordings. Here, the videographer can confirm it. Right, Yura? Yes, he nods his head. Sixty or seventy percent didn't shoot, they were drafted, they were supposed to stand in the defense. But that's absurd. And when they tell you that they didn't know anything, that's absurd too. -This is absurd, Stas -They could lie to you, but they have no reason to lie to me. And who knows, maybe someday you'll pass their words on to someone else. You have to take responsibility for everything in life. -Probably -60-70 percent of Russians tell me... Even more, 80 percent say they didn't fight
This is absurd -Yes, it is absurd. Thanks for agreeing with me And when you tell me that no one wanted to capture... Here you saw what happened to Mariupol I just don't understand. Explain to me the tactics for the civilians who had to repel the attack on the city No, the civilians could not repel the attack. But if we're talking about Mariupol, I know that some attacks came from residential buildings
Someone was taking advantageous positions. Like in Bucha, when a man was firing machine guns from his house, while his wife was loading magazines for him Look, it's no secret that the Russians seized one residential neighborhood after another during the siege of Mariupol They did it with air support, there were no air defenses in Mariupol Ukrainian forces retreated until they concentrated in the industrial zone. This is Azovstal. Yes, it was an urban battle. The Russians encircled the city and pounded it with artillery and aviation. But the Ukrainians fought back from residential areas The Russians had problems with tanks because the Ukrainians were armed with Javelins The advance was very hard. And the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Mariupol or Soledar, there was a similar situation As far as I know, they moved from the residential neighborhoods to the industrial zone But the AFU fighters, in most cases, were already in the houses from which the civilians had left Stas, a lot of people died in Mariupol It was the same in Bucha, in Izyum, and so on Speaking of Mariupol, you yourself brought us a video: local residents were approached with an offer to leave the city It was the same. Our cars came offering to take people to camp, but people refused to go to these camps
It was explained to people that there would be military action here. There were humanitarian corridors. But some people refused to leave because they wanted to protect their homes. They defend their homes and shoot the man. The man shoots back. Because of this there are so many casualties Stas, every story has a cause-and-effect relationship. To explain what happens at point B, we have to understand what happened at point A. Maripaul and other cities are Ukrainian territory. Is Ukraine an independent country for you?
-Yes -In that case the seizure of Mariupol, Kherson and other cities is an occupation? -If that was the goal, I guess so. -Okay, thank you for doing that. -People don't want it, they resist and fight -Yes. But at point A was Russia. It is the cause of all events. Before Russia invaded, everything was fine Many units from Luhansk and Donetsk took part in the storming of Mariupol From Donetsk and Lugansk? But these people cry and tell me that they didn't want it People who are in captivity do this This is no secret. To tell the truth, I don't know the exact number of groups from Donetsk and Luhansk Yes, they had a faction before the invasion, but that doesn't say anything But you say that Russia started it all. But the people of Donetsk and Luhansk also fought for their territory -Stas, Mariupol was stormed by the Russian army -It did it together with detachments from Donetsk and Lugansk Let me put the question another way. Could Donetsk and Lugansk have conquered Mariupol without the support of the Russian army?
I can't say because I don't know the number of their troops -It was negligible compared to the Russian units -Probably. But they actually had strong units They did a good job in 2014-2015 I have acquaintances. Many people moved from Donetsk and Lugansk to Murmansk When people fled the war to the North, they were given benefits, they were given jobs... They told me. Ukraine, the overthrow of the government is what you told me. I don't even want to discuss it. But even if there were such thoughts, it is wrong. Ukraine is a different country
-It's not right to take over another country's government -It's our government's goals. It could have been the decision at the top. We are soldiers. We have our tasks. When you talk to me, you can only get my opinion. But I can't know the purpose. Stas, I understand that. I don't want a soldier in the Russian army to be responsible for Putin
He will answer in a court in The Hague or somewhere else. I have another question. -Putin is my supreme commander-in-chief. -Yes, I understand that. We talk like human beings. I can even understand what you said about the order. But that order was a cover for what the Russian soldiers were doing here
But Putin couldn't have done it without the cons from the Wagner Group, without the separatist units, and without experienced military men like you. You are Putin's hands and feet in this war. Little finger, ring finger, foot... You are all part of the larger system that the Ukrainians are fighting against. Putin is not the only one at war here. Ordinary Russian soldiers fight and die here If one of them could explain to me what they were fighting for, why Stas was sitting in a POW camp...
I can explain it in simple terms. Because Stas came to a foreign country to seize its land, kill people and occupy Because he's an occupier and an argessor. I don't want to hurt you. This is not a game, this is about human lives. Eight million Ukrainians left the country because of Russia's actions They went to the West, not to Russia. The cities are deserted and destroyed. We will face the consequences of Russia's actions for decades to come
And the Russian soldier can't explain what it's all about... -You were born in '89, so you're ... -I'm 33 years old. We are eight years apart. You have a son Sviatoslav, right?
That's a good name. We had a Prince Sviatoslav the Brave. He had a good motto Coming at you! That's what he always said. In 16 years your son will be 20 years old, he will be going to university.
He'll probably learn about the war from books. He'll ask you: Daddy, what did you fight for? -It's your son -I'll tell him: it's a secret. No military secrets can be divulged -So you know what you fought for? -I was following orders. -But that's not an answer for my son -So I'll answer him: son, it's a military secret. And in 20 years, everyone will know why we fought here. As I told you before, when the war is over, we'll know what it was all about
Who was right and who was wrong Okay. I keep following the statistics: already more than 130,000 Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine British Intelligence, ISW estimate casualties at 200,000. What did all these men die for? Were their deaths worth something that you don't know, but only Putin knows? -We won't know for years. -What's your opinion now?
My opinion as a soldier: we are soldiers, we sign a document of readiness to die As you know, I was on my deathbed when I was taken prisoner. I was ready to die I still wonder how I survived. What I survived for - I don't know I don't even know what to do about it now.
I've been a prisoner for eight months now: kind of alive, but kind of not. I don't know if I should have survived I talked to your soldiers, and then I saw them on TV saying: better death than slavery. -Do you agree with that? -In the event of war with Russia, yes. -I think that in the case of any war, for example with Turkey... -Yes, when another state attacks you, death is better than slavery My point is: for me, captivity is slavery. For many real soldiers, death is better than slavery.
You recently asked me why so many of us kill ourselves. Here's one of the reasons I tried to die, too. But we survived. Many real soldiers who are in captivity do not know what to do about this fact One thing we have been taught for years: we are soldiers, we are warriors And we must live as warriors And politics, economic issues, land grabs are none of our business We try not to even think about it. Stas, I understand what you're saying, but the situation here is a little different Ukrainian soldiers have ideals. They fight for their people, for their land, they defend it That's why the motto is "better death than slavery. That's Ukrainian, you understand, right?
It makes some sense. But you say you're a soldier and had to die... You're stepping into another country... Sorry, let me finish my thought You follow orders without understanding them. After all, it's your life. It is your life. You could blow yourself up for who knows what. For orders and for Putin? -I did it to avoid being captured -I don't think it should have been done Ukrainians may criticize me for what I say now, but life is the greatest value We don't know what will happen next I talked to young people who said they liked the songs of these mercenaries F***k Nazis and all that. I occasionally follow this retarded art "If we die, we go to Valhalla." You guys aren't going to Valhalla!
All this Russian pathos. And the soldiers who are sitting here in front of me - they don't understand what they had to die for Ukrainians have ideals, they understand what they are fighting for. But to blow yourself up because you've been told for ten years that you have to die... But not to be captured is nonsense If you had a good ideal, but you realize there isn't one I understand why you don't want to talk about it. Stas, Russians don't have an ideal There is no NATO at the gate... NATO at the gate... It's already hard for me to talk
There is no threat to Luhansk and Donetsk. You see the level of people we talk to -We should have talked to them and stuff like that. Stas, trust me... -They're just tired I understand that. But life is the most important value. And to ruin yourself because you've been told for ten years that you're a soldier and have to die... No, every soldier knows how to think You don't have to die under all conditions, but during battle...
A life should be sacrificed for some bright ideal That's what Ukrainian soldiers do. That's why they say that. But the Russians don't have this idea Dying for Valhalla is not an idea For God's sake, I don't know these songs about Valhalla. They started recently, didn't they? -They weren't there in July... -They were already there. -So they weren't popular. I didn't hear them --Stas, I'm saying it again. You should die for an idea. -Not for anyone's wishes -We warriors have our own ideas. -What was your idea for the war in Ukraine? -I have already told you about my idea.
-Becoming a platoon commander is not an idea. -No, it's not an idea. I agree that this is not an idea. But as a soldier I put my life on the line to compare my valor with that of another soldier Stas, an idea is something for which you are willing to give your life. Ukrainian soldiers sacrifice their lives for an idea You die defending your land. That is all, nothing more.
We die for our people, for our land, for independence and freedom -I've listed a few ideas for you -It can all be summed up in one concept: for your land Let it be. But the idea of fighting the enemy could also be done in Norway, to fight with the local police -Norwegian police? -I don't know, you can choose another option. -I don't know how strong the police are there -But our guys go to fight in Africa, for example. What kind of ideas do they go there for? -Money -No, not always -Most cases -I know of tasks that don't even get paid for -But they still do these tasks -War becomes a drug? You have mercenaries from other countries coming to you. America, Africa, I don't know where from. Poland... They support Ukraine, right?
They are citizens of other countries. For what idea did they come to another country? Why did they come of their own accord? They have no idea of defending their country I don't think they make any more money here than they could make at home. They came to defend a country that is fighting for its freedom. Here's an idea. And we came to support Donetsk and Lugansk in their fight for freedom This is how we can describe the situation It's a piquant question about comparing them and us. In all cases, people risk their lives To risk his life to protect others, a person must have an idea inside It may not even be related to the idea of protecting other people. We have that motive, too.
There's something inside when we do combat missions We understand that we can die. It's scary. But we're still going. But the most important thing is never to feel hatred. You can only fight with a sober head Along with the hatred come people who kill everyone. These are not soldiers They are not real soldiers. They don't have a military upbringing. Is there something you want to say to the Ukrainians? I want to say to Ukrainians: forgive us for some fools Who harmed young children Children should not suffer I have a son, and sometimes I imagine him in their place. I saw such children in the Kharkov hospital
-And besides... -What would you say to the Russians? I'll tell the Russians everything when I get back. It's still a question though. There are guys here who have been waiting a year for an exchange.
Yes, there are those convicted with proven guilt, but there are also those who are not convicted There are people who are not even suspected of crimes. And we don't see even a hint of exchange It's as if people have been forgotten about. Although they call home, they are told that the process is going on, they are put on the exchange list It was as if they were being crossed out. As I was told I was being crossed out We would like to ask the government of Ukraine or Russia: what is the reason? Maybe the president of Ukraine knows what the reason is? There are also Ukrainian prisoners there, many of them for almost a year. We don't know what the reason is Some think they have been forgotten. Some have already pleaded guilty, have already been convicted, and have even been amnestied.
And still they know what happens next Will you go back to war if you are exchanged? Honestly, I wish I'd spent more time with my son. As I was dying, I thought of him. I thought I didn't spend enough time with him I didn't teach him anything. I didn't give him my experience. The worst thing is not to die, but that I didn't pass anything on to my son. It turns out that I have lived my life in vain. I have been given another chance, and I want to use it to pass on my experience to my son.
I've accumulated something in 33 years. After my return I would like to spend more time with my child And, if you're lucky in life, create two more children -Make love, not war. You know English, don't you? -I don't speak much English. Make love, not war. But you've been making war for 33 years. Well, I had a moment when I was making love. After all, I have a son.
I can say this. I've only had two military missions in my life: here and in Syria The rest of the time I guarded my borders. That's how I lived. In a ten-year career, four months and eight days of war. This is my combat experience.
-These eight days of war were the toughest -Yes I would say these are the unfortunate ones. I've had tougher moments. But here I was unlucky.