Russians who want to fight Vladimir Putin’s troops Ukraine have got their own battalion.
The ‘Freedom for Russia‘Legion is composed entirely of Russian citizens, including former prisoners of war.
The unit has received Ukrainian uniforms with a white and blue flag used by anti-war protesters.
The flag mimics the design of the Russian flag but with the red ribbon changed to white and has become a symbol of resistance to the invasion of Ukraine.
The battalion was set up by the Ukrainian government and resembles Belarusian units made up of Russian citizens who want to fight the Kremlin, it has been reported.
Three members of the group held a press conference in Kiev on April 5, where they called on other Russian soldiers to defect.
With balaclavas and military fatigue, the men said they were morally disturbed by Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
One of the men said it had deceived Kremlin soldiers into entering Ukraine for the ‘so-called special military operation’.
He said he had switched sides to fight for Ukraine after being taken prisoner and taken prisoner before being later released by Ukrainian troops.
The soldier said: “I have decided to join Russia’s Freedom Legion, first of all, to fight against Putin’s regime to fight for a future for our children and grandchildren at home.”
The fighter also said he realized “what the Russian army had done in Ukraine”.
“I want to fight against this lawless Putin regime so that people can talk and breathe freely without being afraid,” he told reporters.
The soldier said another motivation for his defection was the atrocities he witnessed in the cities of Bucha, Irpin and Kharkiv.
As Russian troops withdrew from northern Ukraine, horrific reports from citizens are massacredburied in mass graves and tortured, raped or burned.
Troops are accused of committing war crimes in Bucha and the reports have led to a new set of sanctions being imposed on Moscow.
Another soldier present at the press conference urged Russian soldiers ‘to lay down their arms and fight for your future’.
The soldiers appeared in front of signs with details on how people could donate to the battalion, including the use of cryptocurrency.
The group also has a Telegram channel that tells people how to join the battalion.
The formation of the group comes amid reports of Russian troops carrying out mutiny and low morale.
An elite paratrooper unit is said to have staged a mutiny and refused to fight in Ukraine, with the result that the battalion was withdrawn to Belarus.
The incident came after reports of elite OMON special forces from Khakassia refusing to take up arms and troops from unofficial state of South Ossetia returning to their homes on foot after refusing to fight.
While in March a Russian commander was killed by his own troops who ran over him with a tank.
Russian troops are also understood to have suffered a significant loss of life since they invaded Ukraine.
NATO estimates between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers died in the first six weeks of the war, while Ukraine sets the toll at 18,600.
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Russians "who want to fight Putin in Ukraine" gave their own battalion
Source link Russians "who want to fight Putin in Ukraine" gave their own battalion