Ukrainian Soldier Flees To Donetsk People’s Republic, Appears To Be ‘Shocked’ By Strikes On Civilian Targets

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Ukrainian Soldier Flees To Donetsk People’s Republic, Appears To Be ‘Shocked’ By Strikes On Civilian Targets

Anatoly Tarasenko

A soldier of the Ukrainian Armed Forces fled his positions in eastern Ukraine and requested help from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a spokesman for the DPR military, Eduard Basurin, revealed on February 1.

“A soldier of the mechanized battalion of the 1st Armored Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who fears for his life, turned to us for help, with a request to protect him from arbitrariness by his colleagues. In order to save the life of a Ukrainian citizen, in cooperation with the law enforcement agencies of the republic, on January 28, a successful operation was carried out to ensure the transfer of Anatoly Taranenko to our territory. Currently, he is being provided with psychological assistance, nothing threatens his life,” Basurin said in a statement.

The soldier fled his detachment as a result of the constant physical violence and moral humiliation that he faced from other personnel. For example, on the instructions of the platoon commander, Lieutenant Sushchenko, under threat of physical harm, the commanders were seizing a part of the money allowance in the interests of the battalion commander, Major Khailo.

Tarasenko also claimed that two of his colleagues also left their positions and are currently hiding in the village of Taramchuk.

Basurin added that the Ukrainian military did not send any request to DPR forces regarding the location of its service members.

“It should be noted that so far we have received no inquiries about the whereabouts of these servicemen, which only confirms the indifference of the brigade command to subordinate personnel. The People’s Militia is ready to provide the victims with the necessary assistance to protect their rights and freedoms and ensure a safe transition to our side. The leadership of the republic always goes to meet Ukrainian servicemen in need of assistance, which cannot be said about the attitude of the war criminals of Ukraine. This is confirmed by the recent case when the punitive officers of the 14th Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot a serviceman of the People’s Militia of the LPR, who had gone astray due to bad weather conditions.”

On February 4, the DPR press service released a video showing Taramchuk in the city of Donestk and at civilian sites destroyed by shelling of the Ukrainian Army in the village of Signalnoe. The DPR side also allowed the Ukrainian soldier to make a phone call to home.

A quote from the phone call:

– Happened. It was that I was almost killed at my positon. One ‘blood brother’, as it says, comrade-in-arms. Today, I’ve seen that thing. I cannot remove it from my mind, it will always be in my eyes. There is a monument to killed children, from 1yo to 15yo, 16yo. Died here. And peaceful settlements are being shelled. Children hide under tables from shells.

– Who is shelling?

– Who, our (forces)! Ours shell Donetsk villages. However, there is a ceasefire, they should not open fire. They, scumbags, strike. Destroy settlements, houses, all. Children are scared.

While it is clear that in such situation he is not interested in criticizing the DPR, the video clearly shows that the soldier was shocked after he got the perspective of the situation besides the Ukrainian and mainstream propaganda.

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