Russian deserter from brigade accused of war crimes in Kyiv Oblast seeks asylum in Spain
Nikita Chibrin (Photo:theguardian.com)
A Russian soldier whose unit is accused of committing war crimes in Kyiv Oblast has deserted and is seeking political asylum in Spain, UK newspaper the Guardian reported on Nov. 17.
In interviews with the Guardian and the human rights project Gulagu.net, Nikita Chibrin said he decided to flee Russia after deserting from his unit in Ukraine in June.
After speaking out against the invasion on Feb. 24, the very first day of full-scale war, he was fired as an army mechanic and made to do manual labour.
“They threatened to jail me,” Chibrin said. “In the end, my commanders decided to use me as a cleaner and a loader. I was stationed away from the battlefield.”
He denied being involved in the war crimes his unit is accused of, and declared he didn't fire a single shot in Ukraine.
Chibrin stated his willingness to testify in an international court about his experience in Ukraine.
"I have nothing to hide."
"This is a criminal war that Russia started. I want to do everything I can to make it stop," he said.
Chibrin joined the Russian army in the summer of 2021 due to financial problems. He also said his brigade was tricked into entering Ukraine on Feb. 24. He spent the first month of the invasion in the village of Lypivka 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Kyiv.
The human rights project Gulagu.net helped him to flee Russia. He arrived at Madrid airport this week.
Chibrin served in the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade of the Russian Ground Forces, which occupied Bucha in the middle of the March. After the liberation of Bucha, bodies were found on the street – some shot in head with their hands tied.
In September the Kyiv police reported that the bodies of 442 civilians murdered by Russian troops had been found in Bucha.
According to the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, 1,200 civilians were killed in and around Bucha during its occupation.
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