The scrapes here are dated but cogent. Ukraine has long maintained surrender hotlines for Russian troops intent on surviving Putin’s catastrophe. For defectors, Vladimir Osechkin has been a go-to via his gulagu site–I’d include the .net extension but haven’t been able to reach it myself (related in Wikipedia). What follows: scraped quotes (in no particular order) and additional reference. For philosophy: life is full of leavings, some sad and sweet, some sudden and wrenching.
Note: in the Blogosphere, “scraping” refers to a part of my method, which distills to “Collect, Select, and Opine”–but when one doesn’t “opine” very much, the work amounts to relay with a minimum of commentary, i.e., “scraping”.
With the Russia v. Ukraine War and Putin’s willful churning of young Russians into fertilizer for Ukrainian soil, Russian motivation for turning against Putin should be powerful in its latency. Indeed, Putin has made his world that of political, practical, and unconscionable criminals making themselves legend for their brutality, dishonesty, greed, ruthlessness, and, ultimately, essential worthlessness.
Caesar said Legion fighters are ideologically diverse but share in fierce anti-Putinism. “Our people hold different views, but we are united in our rejection of the Kremlin dictatorship and the desire to reformat Russia,” he said.
“Our country must become a democratic power, but for this, a reboot of the entire political and social system, lustration, decolonization, de-imperialization and a complete constitutional re-establishment of the state must be carried out.”Brennian, David. “Russians Fighting for Ukraine Vow to ‘Destroy the Putin Regime'”. Newsweek, October 28, 2022.
Senior Lieutenant at Russian FSB Counterintelligence defected to Europe. Emran #Navruzbekov was to be sent to Turkey & Syria for an operation against Russian citizens wanted by Putin. Instead, he used the opportunity to flee to Europe with a goldmine of intelligence & asked for political asylum.
Emran says the 2nd Service of the FSB essentially controls all criminal activities in Dagestan and Chechnya.
The FSB kidnaps, tortures, & extorts successful businessmen & others who can pay a ransom. The FSB has their own torture chambers across the region for this purpose.Sushco, Igor. “FSB Counterintelligence Senior Lieutenant defector tells all (Part 1).” The Racecar Driver, December 29, 2022.
“The last 10 years I do a lot of things to protect the human rights and other people. But in this moment, I understood that my mission to help other people created a very high risk to my family,” Osechkin told CNN from France, where he’s lived since 2015 after he fled Russia and claimed asylum. He now has full-time police protection.
He’s become the champion of a growing number of high-level Russian officials defecting to the West, emboldened and disgruntled by the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. He says ex-generals and intelligence agents are among their number.Bell, Melissa, Saskya Vandoome, Joseph Ataman. “High-ranking Russian officials are defecting. This man is aiding them.” CNN, January 25, 2023.
Igor Volobuyev spent two decades working in the heart of the Russian business establishment, first for Gazprom and then for its affiliate Gazprombank, where until February this year he was vice-president.
Then Vladimir Putin launched his war on Ukraine in late February, and Volobuyev decided he could no longer stand living in Russia. He packed a small rucksack of possessions and a stack of cash, and flew out of the country on 2 March, pretending he was going on holiday.
A few days later, he crossed from Poland into Ukraine, where he spent his childhood years. Now, he spends his days trying to convince officials to provide him with Ukrainian documents and allow him to sign up for military service.Walker, Shaun and Andrew Roth. “‘I’m never going back’: the high profile Russian defectors rejecting war.” The Guardian, May 15, 2022.
The history of the Cold War and post-Cold War eras is rife with elaborate, almost implausible tales of defectors and double agents, sometimes even triple agents, spies who worked for one or more governments simultaneously for love or money or for the simple thrill of leading a hidden life. There are those with access to state secrets, some immeasurably valuable, who betrayed their country for ideological reasons or, as they often rationalize the treachery to themselves, perfectly pragmatic ones.
And now there is a historic first: the enemy spy who came back to the people who caught and released him.Weiss, Michael. “Exclusive: Ex-Russian spy flees to the NATO country that captured him, delivering another embarrassing blow to Moscow.” Yahoo News, November 17, 2022.
Bell, Melissa, Saskya Vandoorne, Joseph Ataman. “High-ranking Russian officials are defecting. This man is aiding them.” CNN, January 25, 2023.
Brennian, David. “Russians Fighting for Ukraine Vow to ‘Destroy the Putin Regime'”. Newsweek, October 28, 2022.
Bunyan, Rachael. “‘I’m Russian, I kill my countrymen… but they’re criminals’: Soldiers who defected from Putin’s military say they joined Ukraine after witnessing atrocities…and have each killed as many as 18 of their former comrades.” Daily Mail, December 6, 2022.
Dovidka. “Acting in occupied territory.”
“How to surrender: step-by-step instructions for Russians and forcibly mobilized Ukrainians.” Visit Ukraine Today Blog, n.d.
Jackson, Jon. “Putin’s Deserters Poised to Fight Against Him on Front Lines.” Newsweek, February 13, 2023.
Murphy, Matt. “Ukraine War: Russia’s Wagner Group commander requests Norway asylum.” BBC, January 16, 2023.
Pleasance, Chris. “Thousands of Russian soldiers ‘have already called Ukrainian hotline set up to let them surrender’.” October 5, 2022.
Riehle, Kevin. First paragraph: “We are seeing an increasing flow of reports about dissatisfaction among people associated with Russia’s intelligence and security services. Is it just anti-Russian propaganda? Hard to say.” LinkedIn.
Rosenberg, Steve. “Russian army officer admits: ‘Our troops tortured Ukrainians’.” BBC, February 2, 2023.
Stewart, Will. “Officer in Putin’s security service who ‘REFUSED’ to kill Ukrainians and fled to Kazakhstan instead is deported to Russia and now faces up to 15 years in jail.” Daily Mail, December 31, 2023.
Weiss, Michael. “Exclusive: Ex-Russian spy flees to the NATO country that captured him, delivering another embarrassing blow to Moscow.” Yahoo News, November 17, 2022.