Murders for pleasure, rape and looting: the statements of a Russian deserter soldier on war crimes in Bucha

Former Russian soldier, Nikita Chibrin

Nikita Chibrina russian soldier 27-year-old who deserted at Kremlin troopsfled to Spain in search of asylum, after witnessing the crimes atrocious acts committed by his comrades in arms during the invasion of Ukraine ordered by the president Vladimir Putin.

Chibrin is a native of the Russian city of Yakutsk and belonged to the 64th Brigade of motorized riflemen of Separate Guards, one of Putin’s units accused of committing war crimes in the region of bucha.

In a statement offered to the chain CNNthe former Russian soldier assured that he deserted his military duties after experiencing the atrocities committed by his companions against civilians in Ukraine during the invasion.

He said they had a “direct order to kill.” He to kill anyone, including civilians, who spread any information that could reveal his location on Ukrainian territory.

“If someone had a phone, we were allowed to shoot them,” Chibrin said. “There are maniacs who enjoy killing a man. Those maniacs appeared there, ”he added.

How Russian soldiers carried out a “mopping up” operation in Bucha
Police work to identify the civilians who died during the Russian occupation in Bucha, Ukraine (Rodrigo Abd /)

One of the crimes that most affected the former soldier was when he found out about a rape by his comrades in arms against a woman and her daughter.

“I saw them run, then I knew they were rapists. They raped a mother and a daughter,” she recounted. What outraged him the most was that his commanders upon finding out about the crime just shrugged their shoulders as if they didn’t care. Chibrin said the rapists were beaten but never punished.

“They were never jailed. Just fired. Just like that: ‘Go away!’ They were simply dismissed from the war. That’s it,” he recounted.

He also recounted that the Russian soldiers committed robberies Y looting widespread of all kinds of products where they passed.

Bucha's images, like this one showing the hand of Iryna Filkina, killed by Putin's troops, traveled the world (REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File)
Bucha’s images, like this one showing the hand of Iryna Filkina, killed by Putin’s troops, traveled the world (REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File) (ZOHRA BENSEMRA/)

“They did not hide this at all. Many in my unit, when we left Lipovka Y andreevka at the end of March, they took automobiles, vehiclesthey took civilian cars and sold them in BelarusChibrin told CNN.

“The mentality is, ‘If you steal something, you’re good. If no one catches you, good! If you see something that’s expensive and you steal it and you don’t get caught, you’re good,’” he added.

He admits that he was not an eyewitness to the murders or rapes of Ukrainian civilians, although he assures that he did hear his colleagues talk about it.

Chibrin, who fled to Spain in November seeking political asylum, said he was willing to give further statements on war crimes committed by the Russian army during its current military campaign.

The former Russian soldier “accepted to cooperate with the Justice and will testify before the special department for the fight against genocide that investigates war crimes”, according to the organization on its Telegram channel.

“Nikita has been given the first Spanish documents (…). Europe. Democracy. Compassion,” said Vladimir Osechkin, director of the organization.

Vladimir Osechkin
Vladimir Osechkin, director of

The Russian soldier, who enlisted in the Army in 2021, believes that his country has no chance of winning the war against Ukraine, but did not rule out that many lives will continue to be lost in the meantime. “Because Russia will not stop until a lot of blood is spilled, until everyone dies. the soldiers are cannon fodder for them. They don’t respect them,” she said.

“Of course Russia will lose. Because the whole world is supporting Ukraine. To think that they (the Russians) will win is stupid,” she added. “They thought they would occupy kyiv in three days. How many days are there now? 260? They thought that they would come to Ukraine and be greeted with flowers. But they told them to fuck off and threw them Molotov cocktails”, he told CNN.

At first Chibrin said that they were tricked into the war.

“It was a big lie. It was military training with the Belarusian army. And they lied to us. On February 24, they simply said that everyone would go to war, ”he recounted.

Chibrin communicated to his commander that he was not willing to fight as soon as he found himself in the Ukraine on February 24, the date the war began, to which they replied: “You will have big problems, you will go to jail and your family will have big problems.” Then the commander attacked him and put him in a special vehicle and closed the door. “I couldn’t open it from the inside. So, that’s how I went to Ukraine.”

“Keep shooting and then you’re free to go,” was one of the responses he received at the time.

Russian troops arrive in Belarus
Russian troops arrive in Belarus

He also complained that there was never any real training. “I worked on a computer, in the office, I worked as a lawn mower,” he said.

“Those who said that they would shoot the Ukrainians easily, when they returned from the front, they could not even speak to me. They saw war, they saw defeat, they saw their fighters being killed, they saw corpses. They noticed, but they couldn’t run away,” Chibrin said.

Chibrin says that many Russian soldiers wanted to desert, but did not because their superiors threatened to kill them. shoot them.

He managed to leave his unit on June 16, when he was not far from the city of iziumin the eastern region of Kharkivaccording to the digital newspaper jellyfish, when he noticed that the commanders of other units were leaving the area for Russia in a truck and jumped.

“I got on and saw other guys who were also leaving Ukraine. And they said they didn’t want war, we paid the commander money (so he could drive). And I was waiting and waiting and then we were close to the border with Russia and the vehicle stopped and the boys jumped out and I jumped out too. And I went to the Russian border and said I needed medical help,” she recounted.

After this episode Chibrin was hospitalized in Russia for a month, receiving treatment for severe back pain and then they wanted to force him to sign a document in which he supposedly said he was willing to return to war, but he refused to sign it.

That was how, with the help of several friends, he managed to flee Russia, in search of freedom.

Nikita Chibrin
Nikita Chibrin, after deserting from the Russian army

At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin described as “falsification” the allegations of war crimes in Bucha, where the Ukrainian authorities exhumed numerous corpses with signs of violence.

In addition, Putin decorated this brigade last April with the honorary title of “Guard” for “its heroism and courage” on the battlefield.

Since the military intervention in Ukraine began, the country’s Attorney General’s Office estimates that Russia has committed a total of 46,432 war crimes, as recently reported.

Russia has also denounced abuses and execution of Russian prisoners of war at the hands of the Ukrainian Army.

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