A Russian prisoner of war claimed Moscow lied to soldiers before sending them to invade Ukraine.
Lieutenant Colonel Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich said soldiers were told Ukraine was “dominated by a fascist regime” and that “nationalists and Nazis had seized power,” according to a translation by the New York Post.
He made the accusations during a media conference Thursday alongside two other captured Russian soldiers.
He explained that when he entered Ukraine and saw his favorite boxers, Ukrainians Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, join the resistance, his doubts about the reasons for the invasion were amplified, the NYP reported.
“I feel shame that we came to this country,” he said. “I don’t know why we were doing it. We knew very little. We brought sorrow to this land.”
Mikhailovich said he was willing to go to jail for being a part of the invasion, the NYP reported.
Russian forces have faced stiff resistance from the Ukrainian military and ordinary citizens, with its parliament approving a draft law to allow citizens to carry firearms.
Its defense ministry called on those in Kyiv to use Molotov cocktails to help defend against Russian invaders as they move into the capital.
The footage of Mikhailovich and the other soldiers at the media conference raised questions over whether Ukraine had violated the Geneva Conventions, which protects POWs “against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity,” the NYP reported.
“Although it may seem in some videos that POWs are free to speak as they wish, they are held captive by another military force, and it’s almost impossible to judge from one video the conditions they face,” Andrew Stroehlein, European media director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted Thursday.