A rare, vital account of the early weeks of the war in Ukraine and an emphatic anti-war statement from the Russian soldier who risked everything to denounce Putin’s invasion and “expose the rot” (The Guardian) at the heart of the Russian army
 
“No to war.” Those are the words that, if uttered loudly enough, can stop anything. . . . I call on my compatriots to stop fighting and concern themselves with what’s going on inside their own country.

Pavel Filatyev was a paratrooper in the Russian army that invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Part of the unit that shelled the city of Kherson, Filatyev grew sickened and angry at what he came to see as an unjust war—one in which he and his fellow soldiers are merely pawns in someone else’s game. After being injured and evacuated from the front lines, he returned to Russia and published a shocking exposé of what he witnessed on social media in an effort to reveal the lies behind Russia’s nationalist propaganda. Now available in English, this is his story.
 
A day-by-day account of how the Russian army crossed into Ukraine and captured the city of Kherson, this book is both a testimony to the horrific destruction of war and a damning indictment of Russia’s corrupt leadership and its flagrant disregard of the nation’s best interests. Beyond his account of the war, Filatyev weaves in the story of his upbringing as the son of a military family as well as his own redefinition of what patriotism means to him and the realization that “Russia is not Putin.” Providing rare insight into the chaos and secrecy of the Russian military, he bears witness to the filth and disorder of battlefields, barracks, and shelled cities as well as the demoralized ranks of Russian conscripts who face an inescapable choice: fight in a senseless war, or face imprisonment back home. 
 
After publishing his account on social media, Filatyev hoped to remain in Russia where he could be most useful to his fellow countrymen—but activists and humanitarian organizations abroad urged him to flee for his own personal safety. Now with a never-before-seen epilogue that describes Filatyev’s path to political asylum, this book provides chilling insight into life behind enemy lines and a powerful account of the ordinary people caught in Putin’s war.
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