March 10, 2022

Watch this Captured Russian Soldier begging for Forgiveness & Offering a Path to Peace.

 

We saw a lot of bravery on the Ukrainian side, but this Russian soldier blew my mind.

Lieutenant Colonel Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich brought tears into my eyes.

As we are all mad at Putin, we easily forget about the suffering of those Russians who question their own government. I wrote about the brave journalists, but today, I want to share the words of Lieutenant Mikhailovich with you.

Lieutenant Mikhailovich is a Prisoner of War (POW) in Ukraine. But not only that, he openly admits that Russia is wrong. He apologizes for his and his country’s actions. Most importantly, he reminds us that these Russian soldiers are also people like you and me.

This POW shares with the world that Russian soldiers had no idea what they got themselves into when invading Ukraine. Mikhailovich believed that he was about to free the Ukrainian people from a Nazi regime, but then he saw his two favorite Ukrainian athletes joining the fight against Russia—and that changed his mind.

Just like millions of other Russians, Mikhailovich believed Putin’s lies. He thought it was his duty to help the Ukrainian people. After he realized that he had almost sacrificed his life to a lie, he felt ashamed of his own actions.

And he understands the anger of the Ukrainian people. He accepts any form of punishment, but he also offers a way out of this mess of misinformation.

I seriously think that his idea is the most realistic solution to end this war.

Russians need to know what’s really going on in Ukraine. As Putin shut down the last independent TV channels and banned social media, there is almost no way for Russians to find out what’s really happening in Ukraine. As long as the average Russian person doesn’t know about the war, there won’t be much resistance.

But Putin’s ban against information has a lot of loopholes.

Russians have already noticed that McDonald’s and other Western companies have left the country. They also noticed that Twitter and Facebook weren’t available anymore. And they also noticed that a lot of people got arrested after protesting.

But many Russians are still undecided. They are simply not able to get first-hand information and do not trust anyone.

Russian soldiers in Ukraine know what’s happening. They see the suffering caused by their actions. They see that this is not about freeing anyone from Nazis. And there are reports of Russian soldiers sabotaging their own equipment to avoid fighting.

And that’s what Lieutenant Mikhailovich sees as a chance to stop this war.

Of course, Ukraine has every right to throw these Russian soldiers into jail. It might sound counterintuitive, but Lieutenant Mikhailovich is begging Ukraine to do the exact opposite of that.

The worst thing that could happen to Putin is thousands of soldiers returning to their families telling them what is really happening in Ukraine.

These families would believe their sons. They would tell their friends and neighbors. This would destroy Putin’s ability to control the narrative.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but the only way to end this war without turning it into World War III is to change Russia’s mind. I am not saying Putin’s mind; it’s about the public opinion in Russia.

Putin controls the media. There is almost no opposition. And let’s be realistic; the only ones who are actually able to start a revolution in Russia are members of the military. We need a bunch of high-ranking generals to oppose Putin, but we can’t expect more mass demonstrations as long as Putin arrests anyone who dares to speak up.

We already know that Russian soldiers have good reasons to be upset with Putin. We know that many of them are deserting. How about encouraging them to break the system from within?

Instead of killing these soldiers who never wanted to enter this war, we could help them to overthrow a government that was willing to sacrifice them on a battlefield.

Please watch this heartbreaking speech of Lieutenant Mikhailovich. We don’t need more weapons or further escalation. We need more Russians who switch sides. We need them to start a revolution in Russia.

And they need our help.

So, please share this with everyone you know. And as I wrote before, “It’s okay to hate Putin, but it’s not okay to hate Russians.”

Please check the tweet at the top of this article for the longer version (it’s totally worth it). Here is a short summary of his statements:

 

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