- A Russian paratrooper who fought in Ukraine wrote a memoir detailing his time there.
- Pavel Filatyev described ransacking for food and receiving little direction from commanders.
- "I can no longer watch all this happen and remain silent," he wrote.
A Russian paratrooper whose memoir is the most detailed day-by-day account yet of the war in Ukraine described chaos that included scared commanders, desperate searches for food, and disdain for President Vladimir Putin.
Pavel Filatyev documented his experience fighting in Ukraine in a 141-page memoir on the Russian social-media platform VKontakte in August. The paratrooper was based in Crimea and served with the Russian military's 56th Airborne Regiment.
The Washington Post on Sunday published excerpts from the memoir translated into English. At some points, Filatyev describes incidents in which entire Russian troops are killed by friendly fire, the outlet reported.
Toward the end of February, the 34-year-old wrote about getting ready to go to war with no information about logistics and having little understanding as to why the war was happening.
He described an incident where explosions could be heard 10 to 20 km in the distance, as soldiers were waking up. Throughout the day, the regiment moved toward the Ukrainian city of Kherson, but their convoys kept getting stuck in the mud.
"The commander tried to cheer everyone up. We are going ahead, leaving the stuck equipment behind, he said, and everyone should be ready for battle. He said it with feigned courage, but in his eyes I saw that he was also freaking out," he wrote.
Filatyev said it took him sometime to realize his homeland was not under attack and that the war was an unprovoked invasion.
A day later on February 25, Filatyev described Russian trucks that looked "kind of crazy." Filatyev walked from car to car, asking people how they were and heard, "Damn, this is f---ed up," "We got wrecked all night."
One of the soldiers from the 11th brigade told him that there were only 50 of them left.
"The rest are probably dead," he said.
On March 1, the group advanced on Kherson, an important port city in Southern Ukraine, and soldiers searched buildings for food and water.
"We ate everything like savages, all that was there was, cereal, oatmeal, jam, honey, coffee. … Nobody cared about anything, we were already pushed to the limit," he wrote.
His account also described Russian troops purposely shooting themselves in the leg to get sent home from the war and receive a $50,000 payout from the government.
Filatyev was evacuated in early April after an eye injury.
While he survived, he said that the majority of people in the Russian forces are dissatisfied with Putin and the government.
Read full excerpts, translated into English, in The Washington Post.