Parachutist Pavel Filatiev was the first. IN book distributed electronicallyhe wrote that Russia had no moral right to invade Ukraine.
Similar words are uttered by many other Russian soldiers, but they do so after falling into Ukrainian captivity. And Filatiev wrote his book in freedom – after he retired from the front due to illness.
He told how his military unit was raised at midnight on February 24 and sent north from the Crimea. The military had no phones to check what was going on, and no one was telling them anything. Himself Pavel Filatiev was sure that not only in Ukraine, but also in Russia, military actions are taking place. He did not know “who attacked whom first”.
Today the author of the book is abroad
Today the author of the book is abroad, says Vladimir Osechkin from the human rights organization Gulagu Net (“No to Gulag”), the lawyer spent long hours talking to the Russian soldier before making sure that he was sincere and that he could be protected by the organization.
Filatiev’s fame as the first and unique narrator of the conquering army from within was overshadowed by a second recognition that came just two days later.
The author of this second confession did not write a book, nor did he try to contact independent media. He was discovered by a Russian journalist in exile and agreed to speak to her on video without hiding his name or face.
It is called Daniil Frolkinadmits that he killed a person in Ukraine and lists the commanders who sent him to kill.
A journalist in the village of Andreevka
From the end of February to the beginning of April village Andreevka in the Kiev region is under the control of the Russian army. Withdrawing, the Russians left behind hundreds of destroyed and looted houses, the bodies of at least 13 people (another 40 people are missing) and something a little more unusual for the Russian army in Ukraine – 25 photographs of the perpetrators themselves.
The photos, most of which are selfies, were taken with a phone picked up by a local resident and then forgotten in the village from which the occupying units are withdrawing.
In July, the journalist of the independent Russian website arrived in the village “Important Stories” Ekaterina Fomina. She has no idea about the history of the phone and is looking for something completely different – at least some footage from the outdoor surveillance cameras. But it doesn’t find any.
The stolen phone turns out to belong to a local pensioner
She starts knocking from door to door to find out what happened in the village during the Russian occupation. She meets a woman who tells her another story – how she found an abandoned phone in May and handed it over to the humanitarian aid station. After some time it was found out that it belonged to a local pensioner. The man opened his phone and found a surprise – photos of four Russian servicemen posing with weapons and medals on their chests.
The journalist was able to identify the participants in the “photo session” thanks to a list published by Ukrainian intelligence. Thus it becomes clear that these are the soldiers of the 64th motorized rifle brigade – Daniil Frolkin, Dmitry Danilov, Ruslan Glotov and Ivan Shepelenko.
What happened in the village?
Many residents of Andreevka remember how the Russians took food, alcohol, clothes, belongings and equipment out of houses and shops. They also confirm 4 executions of young men, three of which were carried out on one street – the people are friends and neighbors.
The men were taken from their homes and soon found shot dead – with their hands tied, brutally beaten, and shot in the limbs before they were killed. The relatives had to initially bury the bodies in their yards, and after the withdrawal of the Russians, exhume them to be laid in the cemeteries.
In June, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine announced that it suspected Daniil Frolkin of violating the laws of war – the killing of a civilian in Andreevka, the theft of a car from another villager and the theft of Soviet and Ukrainian medals from a World War II veteran.
In the materials of the investigation, it is recorded that a local resident named Vasily identified Frolkin by a selfie from the photos and that he witnessed how it was he who killed one of the local residents – Igor Ermakov.
The journalist from “Important Stories” managed to contact Frolkin and another of the soldiers in the photos – Dmitry Danilov, who denies robbing and killing. He admits that their main goal in Andreevka was to look for Ukrainians who gave out the coordinates of the Russian forces. However, he believes that the people in question were “captured, then handed over to the higher authorities and, after interrogation, brought back in a prisoner of war exchange”.
Frolkin himself also initially refused to make any confessions. However, it tells of the poor conditions in which they were forced to fight, after first being told they were going to exercises in Belarus and then being sent to war in Ukraine. Those who try to rebel are harassed, beaten and threatened by their commanders. Frolkin admits that other Russian soldiers looted, even naming the deputy commander of logistics Col. Vyacheslav Klobukovwho raised even refrigerators.
A few hours after the first conversation with the journalist, Frolkin joined the messenger himself, with a video connection.
“I, a serviceman from military base 51460, Guards Corporal Daniil Andreevich Frolkin, confess to all the crimes I committed in Andreevka, shooting the civilian population, robbing the civilian population, confiscating their phones,” he says.
Frolkin then calls out:
“Our command does not care about the fighters, about all the infantry fighting at the front. Take measures to punish the commanders – Azatbek OmurbekovGuards Colonel, Guards lieutenant colonel Dmitrenko, Colonel Klobukov and the chief of intelligence Lieut. Colonel Romanenko. He led badly and led our people to death. Also the deputy commander of the brigade lieutenant colonel Procuratoratewho gave the order to shoot”.
When asked why the brigade command should be punished, he replied that they “do not consider ordinary soldiers as people”. Col. Omurbekov gave the command false information about non-existent successes of the brigade.
Frolkin confirms the executions took place on the same street. The commanders called him and his colleagues to conduct searches. From the details he recovers, it is clear that he most likely killed the local resident himself Ruslan Yaremchuk on March 12. Frolkin doesn’t recognize him, but admits that he may have forgotten his face due to the shock. However, he later shows a photo of the dead man to another soldier who was present at the raids, and he confirms that it was Frolkin who shot him.
The Russian soldier is convinced that the man he executed gave the coordinates of the columns of the Russian army. He says he did it in revenge after the Ukrainian admitted that he had arrived from Kyiv the previous day to send the coordinates to the Russians. He made him fall to his knees and shot him in the back of the head. He claims that this is the only person he has killed in all the months of the “special operation”, but he has saved many others.
When asked why he decided to tell the truth now, he replied that he was doing it for the sake of the other boys who, after long months at the front without any physical strength, would be returned to fight on the front line – in Kherson.
His words are confirmed by an intercepted conversation between alleged officers of the 64th Brigade, released by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine. It says that the command does not know with whom to equip the brigade and who will want to be sent “to the dogs” for the second time.
“I understand that I can be locked up because of all this information. Not because of the fact that I did all this shit in Ukraine. I just want to confess everything and explain what’s going on. I think it would be better if this war didn’t exist at all,” Daniil Frolkin, who has applied for dismissal from the army, also told “Important Stories”.