Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

“Realizing I was happy with the Ukrainian victories, I decided to leave the Russian army”

  • Nikita Chibrin, currently resident in the Spanish State, participated in the invasion when the war in Ukraine broke out. Although not on the front line, he decided to become a deserter and shared his experience.

What did you do before the war? I studied in China for four or five years, but instead of profiting my studies, I was playing clubs and nightclubs. I squandered time, I had nothing in my brain, because I was very young. Now I regret it many times. So I ended up as a military computer scientist in the Russian Army. I was a computer in my unit, I didn't have any military training.

And when the invasion of Ukraine began, where was it? On 16 January we were in Belarus, in
a military camp. We did nothing, we ate, we slept, we talked through social media… On February 24, when everything started, our commander said, “All right, get ready for the fight.” So I said, "How? Not at all. I'm not going to fight."

I will not kill anyone, everyone is worth living and no one is entitled to take another's life away. I am totally against war. And finally I'm not willing to die for anything. I was told that this was going to cause problems and that I could end up in prison. The members of my unit started to load bulbs and I didn't know what to do. We got on a special military vehicle, and my intention was to launch it, but the door wouldn't open. I was broken, I couldn't get out. My idea was to run to Poland and ask for asylum.


So did it
end up in Ukraine? Yes, the commander opened the door and said, “Welcome to Ukraine.” We were in the Chernobyl area! Everybody started saying nothing not to touch because there was radioactivity. We spent two or three hours there, then we moved forward and on February 27 we reached the city of Buharin, where we entered.

The bombs of the Ukrainian Army began to fall into our environment. It was the first time I really saw war. We had to run.

From there we were sent to Lipovka throughout the month of March and then to another area that is unknown to me. At that time, a commander told me that I was not a man, because I didn't want to participate in the war. He tried to leave me out mentally and threatened me, took the gun and swore that if I fled, I would be killed. Nobody said anything, everyone supported the commander. From there all the soldiers insulted me every day.

Did something else happen? They gave me all the humiliating jobs, cleanser and cook. I was the
one with the worst responsibilities. The truth is that everything that has lived has filled me with hatred against Russia.

When did you decide to escape? I realized that the victories of the Ukrainian army were making me happy, and I decided I was going to go to the leg. We went back to Belarus in late March and there I tried to find a way to escape. At first the commander said we were going home, but on 3 April he told us otherwise. I told him that I didn't want to participate in the war, he punched me and lost consciousness. Then he told me
that if I repeated again I wanted to flee, I would once more become unconscious. “All right, I understood,” I assured him.

From there we went to Russia, oblast from Belgrade. There I tried to find a way to be a deserter, but the commander picked up my phone and realized it. He blew his pocket and put
a soldier behind me all the time. Then they sent us back to Ukraine, to the oblast Kherson, not to the city. We were also in the forests of Izium, in mid-April and early May we were in Buhaievca. Our job was to ensure delivery, we transported food, etc. I have never been in the front line, my unit was always in the rear.

Advertising of the Russian Army in the streets of St. Petersburg. Photo: Getty Images

Then you haven't seen war or any crime. Being in the woods, I saw two Ukrainian military captured. One was a
soldier and they took him there. But the other was official, and he started insulting the Russians. They took him to a tree among three soldiers and sent us to go because it was not our area. Then I saw some blood on that tree, but I don't know what happened to the officer, maybe he's in lockdown, I don't know.

He lived in the rear with the Ukrainians, how was his relationship? He would take chocolate
out of our food and give it to the kids so they wouldn't think they were captive of the Russians. When I could ask the Ukrainians how I could go from there, but they didn't know.

I met a Ukrainian girl in the Spanish state and she told me that a Ukrainian family hid a Russian soldier. He appeared in his house and asked them to hide it because he didn't want to kill anyone and didn't want to be at war. When the Russian military explored the house, they were told it was familiar.

When did he get fame? On
June 16,
I jumped inside a train and hid myself. I arrived in Russia and was preparing for the flight for three months. I went through Moscow, through Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Tunisia, Morocco and finally came to the Spanish state.


Has the Russian state done anything against you? Two FSB agents, formerly KGB, asked my wife if I knew where I was and she said no, because I didn't know where I was. At the time when I was in Russia, I said nothing to anyone, if I had expressed my opposition to the war, I would not have been
able to flee. If someone asked me, I would pass and say how perverse the Ukrainians were. I spent three months hiding preparing the getaway to be as safe as possible.

Have you had any relationship with a member of your unit? No, I have spoken to some well-known soldiers in the rear, to tell me
that I am in the Spanish state and I leave the army to cheer, but I have been told that I am a deserter. I've asked them if they want to die in Ukraine, but they say they don't care. I cannot understand that. As they did a dirty job like me, I thought they were in my same situation, but they argue that their family is in Russia and they're not going to leave the country.

How does the deserter influence your
family? My parents protect Vladimir Putin. My four-year-old daughter always tells me she's waiting for my lap, but I tell her it's better to come here.

And you're the only deserter you've ever met? When we were in Belgrade, one soldier told me that another left the army. He went to the military prosecutor's office and signed a document stating his willingness to leave the army. I was surprised. If I had heard, I would have taken that path, but at that time I had another soldier on top to control me and I had no possibility. Our commanders repeated over and over again that leaving the army would take us to jail, but it seems that's not the case, there are
ways to do it.

How was it to reach the Spanish state? At
Madrid airport I showed my flight ticket – Cuba was the destination – I put my hands on the back of my head and said that I was Russian and asked for asylum. Safety said to me
“OK, lower your hands, no problem.” All they told me was that before I took the plane that was going to Cuba, I wanted to go there to decide it was my last chance or I was asking for asylum. My initial intention was to go to America, but I didn't have enough money for the trip.

He has participated in demonstrations in favour of Ukraine in the Spanish State. Yes, and when I get the cable
for my microphone, I want to use the Youtube channel and the Chatroulette social network to provoke me to the Russian fascists, who support this war.


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