GRU officer defects to Ukrainian side
Vladislav Ammosov (Photo:Screenshot of Radio Liberty video/YouTube)
Vladyslav Ammosov, a former officer of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, has defected to Ukraine and is working to establish a Siberian volunteer battalion to fight his former compatriots, Radio Liberty reported on April 10, citing sources in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
According to Ammosov, he is currently at the final stages of creating a Siberian Battalion volunteer unit. It will be staffed with representatives of different ethnic groups living in Russia who oppose Moscow’s imperial policies.
In an interview with Radio Liberty, Ammosov said he is “ready to deploy immediately into Russian territory as a part of a sabotage and reconnaissance group and destroy enemies who support Putin’s authorities.”
Vladyslav Ammosov was born in Yakutsk, Siberia. He has spent more than 15 years building a career in Russian armed forces and special services, participating in the second Russian-Chechen war on Moscow’s side. He says that he "was an imperialist who fell for propaganda," as he joined the military during the first Chechen war, and after graduating from university he chose to become a military officer and decided that "his place is in Chechnya." Ammosov claims that he was taught “to destroy entire countries."
He assures that he left the service before Russia occupied Crimea in 2014. Ammosov also says that he went through a rigorous vetting process with Ukrainian security services, after making his intentions known to them immediately after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
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