Russian soldier Nikita Chibrin, who served in Russia’s 64th motorized rifle brigade, has asked for political asylum in Spain. His brigade is notorious for being accused of committing war crimes in Bucha. Chibrin told The Guardian about his intentions, in addition to an interview with the human rights project Gulagu.net. He claims he wants to testify in an international court: “I have nothing to hide. This is a criminal war which Russia has started. I want to do everything possible to end it.”
According to him, he spent more than four months in Ukraine. Chibrin claims that he refused to take part in the war as early as February 24, and informed his command. After that, he was allegedly removed from his position as an army mechanic. “They threatened me with prison. Eventually my commanders decided to use me as a janitor and loader. I was stationed away from the battlefield,” the soldier told The Guardian.
Chibrin joined the Russian army in the summer of 2021 – by his own admission, due to financial problems. His brigade ended up in Ukraine by deception, the former soldier claims. According to Chibrin, he spent the first month of the war in the village of Lypivka, 50 km from Kyiv. During this period, his comrades-in-arms carried out genocide in Bucha and Andriivka.
On June 16, Chibrin was able to leave Ukraine by hiding in a truck that was headed for Russia. After his escape, he contacted human rights activists from Gulagu.net to help him leave Russia. On November 15, he landed in Madrid, where he immediately asked for political asylum. According to Chibrin, he will be placed in a temporary refugee center while his application is pending.