Russian soldier flees Vladimir Putin's army, wants to testify: ‘Never thought…’

Published on Nov 19, 2022 12:09 PM IST

Russia-Ukraine War: Nikita Chibrin, 27, said that he had spent four months in the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade.

Russia-Ukraine War: A Ukrainian soldier fires an anti-tank missile.(AP)
Russia-Ukraine War: A Ukrainian soldier fires an anti-tank missile.(AP)

Russian soldier who fled a unit that is implicated in committing war crimes in Ukraine said that he is prepared to testify in an international court against Moscow, a report said.

Nikita Chibrin, 27, said that he had spent four months in the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, which Ukraine has accused of committing war crimes in Bucha in the Kyiv region, Newsweek reported.

Read more: Half of Ukraine's energy grid damaged, Kyiv could see shutdown: Top updates

Mass graves and dead bodies were found in Bucha following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the region. The unit was said to be led by Lieutenant Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov, dubbed by some media outlets as "the butcher of Bucha," .

Nikita Chibrin said he had never fired a gun in Ukraine and was not involved in the reported war crimes of his unit.

"I have nothing to hide," Nikita Chibrin told The Guardian, adding that he wanted to do "everything I can" to stop the "criminal war that Russia started."

Read more: Hundreds ‘disappeared’ in Ukraine's Kherson in Russian control: Report

Nikita Chibrin was born in the port city of Yakutsk, eastern Siberia and he joined the Russian army in summer 2021 due to financial difficulties. He never thought he would join the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Nikita Chibrin also said that he told his commanders that he was opposed to the conflict on the first day of the invasion on February 24. He was later stripped of his rank as an army mechanic and was tasked with manual labor, he claimed.

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