Over the weekend, Ukraine captured a Russian led soldier. A Ukrainian from Gorlivka (Horlivka), his interview gives us a real insight into the Russian reality in occupied Ukraine. His sad testimony only confirms what we already knew, which is the dire state of life for those living there, that people want peace not war and Russia’s military control everything.
Like many of those living in the Donbas, Soloid, Igor Viktorovich worked in a coal mine. When production stopped due to the conflict, he was suddenly left unemployed. Needing to feed his wife and a child and with little employment opportunities, in March 2015, he decided to serve in the army.
He says Russian instructors train the troops, Russians have authority over unit commanders and all military orders are given out by Russians. Claims people don’t want to fight, but with so few jobs, they are simply forced to join the military. A good indication that morale is low, he said a lot of soldiers try to escape, but are usually caught and brought back.
Current average soldiers salary is low, being 15,000 rubles a month, which is around $260. Despite the low wage, many Russians cross into Ukraine to serve as mercenaries, as the unskilled job gives them a regular pay check. Video below was posted by Ukrainian military. Hopefully it will be translated into English.