Translated and subtitled by Leo V.
April 25, 2022
Zaur – Military serviceman of Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov’s Regiment:
It’s possible that before I came here, I doubted [the stories] a little bit. But back then when we freed the first prisoners from the house, which was directly situated nearby the Azovstal’ [factory], when those prisoners and civilians came out from the basements, they hugged and kissed us. And told us that they are happy to see us. They cried with tears in their eyes! I then realized that I ended up exactly for… (holding back emotions) what was needed. And I don’t doubt one drop that it was the right idea.
I remember that moment, that fragment which laid into my head, when we stormed a house where there were a lot of civilians, and many of those very Azov fighters. (Azov is an extremist organization that is banned in the territory of the Russian Federation.) A mother with her child runs outside, and we’re looking through binoculars. We can’t storm, we can’t enter, we can’t do anything. And then they shoot the mother in the spine. The mother falls… and we scream to the child: “RUN!!! RUN!!!” from all sides. The child froze, not understanding what to do. On one hand he wants to run, but on the other he wants to help his mother. And then suddenly his head, get this, this child’s HEAD gets shot by this scum, this evil BEAST. In this very moment, we all just suddenly forgot what death means, we forgot that there could be snipers there, just as a Crowd, Broke In! We threw smoke grenades so that they couldn’t see us. We broke in and just tore up all of them [fighters] that were inside. Well we got in there, but not just got in there. In the sense that people sacrificed their lives. Many soldiers sacrificed their lives in that moment. But we entered and fulfilled our task.
We could care less about our lives when we saw the life of a child being gone. When we realized that these are not people, but are animals, nothing less than beasts, that can allow themselves to… to kill a child. These are not people. Therefore I think that I ended up here exactly for the right reason. And everything that I have done here, I have done for these people who live right here and are smiling and hugging us. They even take the coordinates of where I live, as well as of my other fellow combat comrades, they want to come to our homeland and thank us for the liberation.