will no longer help Russian soldiers escape abroad

30 March, 12:41 AM
Vladimir Osechkin (

Vladimir Osechkin (

Russian human rights watchdog has suspended its program of helping repentant Russian soldiers flee abroad, the group’s leader Vladimir Osechkin announced via Telegram on March 29.

Osechkin explained his decision with the case of former Russian paratrooper Pavel Filatyev, who turned out to have been involved in war crimes committed in Ukraine. After two months of active participation in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, with the help of, he fled to France.

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“As Swedish journalist Eric de la Reguera found out, at the time of writing letters to us at the end of July 2022, (and during) his first interviews with us in August and subsequent meetings with journalists in France, Pavel Filatiev knew that a number of (Ukrainian) detainees (captured) by him and his colleagues were subsequently shot and hanged, i.e., killed,” Osechkin’s message reads.

“But Pavel did not tell anything about that to you and me, de facto hiding his involvement in war crimes committed against Ukrainians.”

Filatyev refused to give an interview to Ukrainian YouTuber Volodymyr Zolkin, as well as to testify to Ukrainian prosecutors and investigators at the embassy in Paris. He claimed that he hadn't heard about war crimes by the time his book was published. Allegedly, his fellow soldiers told him about the crimes afterwards.

Osechkin apologized to all who helped Filatyev at’s request. He claimed he is ready to take responsibility for his mistakes and intends to resign as head of the New Dissidents Foundation. The foundation helps "repentant" Russian military and security officials flee the country.

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