‘What’s this all for?’: Russian deserters call on former comrades to join them

The Guardian, October 26, 2023

Sitting in a basement studio hidden in the centre of Yerevan, Artyom reflected on his decision to desert the Russian army after a year spent fighting in Ukraine.

Just two weeks earlier, the former platoon commander was living in a trench. He has since abandoned his post and fled to the Armenian capital.

“I did not want to participate in this war. I wanted no part in the imperialistic habits of our ruler,” he said. “But I do feel guilt in front of Ukraine. Guilt that I didn’t do this earlier … I could have said no, I just didn’t know what the consequences would be.” (…more)