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Memoirs of a russian killer who fought in Ukraine found in Polish bookstores

Imagine this: you’re a refugee with children, having escaped from Russian occupiers and torturers to seek safety in Poland. One Saturday morning, after a demanding week at work, you step into a local bookstore only to find yourself in the crosshairs of a heavily armed hired killer, a Wagner mercenary, hiding among the shelves, ready to take aim at your head.

This is not a fictional scenario; it’s a distressing reality experienced by Ukrainian women in Poland all too frequently. The cause is the book titled “Wagner Mercenary: Confessions of a former commander of putin’s secret army”. Authored by Marat Gabidullin, this memoir “uncovers the untold facts about putin’s wars”.

The image in this post, taken by one of our readers in the Polish bookstore network empik, displays the book’s cover. Although the reader herself isn’t a refugee, but rather a business traveler, this “encounter” left her deeply traumatized.

In the memoir’s annotation, readers are forewarned from the very beginning that they shouldn’t anticipate confessions, remorse, or apologies from the author. On the contrary, he takes pride in his involvement in the war in Syria, boasting with enthusiasm about his participation in the fighting.

“Marat recounts a story that many would prefer to forget. He exposes the behind-the-scenes operations of russian military campaigns in locations where their presence is officially denied,” states the website of the Polish bookstore

Before embarking on his writing career, Marat Gabidullin had a criminal record for murder. Subsequently, he served as a mercenary for the Wagner terrorist organization, engaging in combat in Syria, Libya, and the Luhansk Region, where he targeted Ukrainians. He worked as an assistant to Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a russian war criminal. Surprisingly, since March of last year, Gabidullin has been residing in none other than France.

However, unlike many of his russian counterparts involved in terrorism, Gabidullin has no intention of seeking political asylum in France. In fact, he plans to return to russia as soon as he knows that his safety is ensured.

There are many “refugees” like Marat Gabidullin in various countries. We previously reported on how russian soldiers flee to foreign nations, where they attempt to present themselves as “reformed and enlightened” (though their true motive is often to whitewash russia’s image)

Let’s also consider the case of paratrooper Pavel Filatiev, who currently resides in France. Filatiev has given interviews to prominent international media outlets, earnestly asserting that the russian military shouldn’t be held responsible for the deaths of Ukrainian civilians. “These fatalities are frequently the unfortunate outcome of a combination of factors, such as misfired missiles or human errors,” he said.

All of these cases serve as clear evidence that even persons still harboring this vague notion that the war in Ukraine is “an issue solely between Ukraine and russia” must recognize that Wagner poses a genuine threat to global security. It’s alarming to consider the number of individuals convicted of serious crimes who ultimately join the ranks of Wagner mercenaries, only to roam freely later and even publish books (sic!).

Just reflect on this: while millions of Ukrainian women, accompanied by their children, have been forced to flee their homeland to escape the numerous shelling by russian soldiers, these very same soldiers can, under certain circumstances, travel abroad and even reside together with the refugees in the same buildings. All because they claim to have repented… after the atrocities in Bucha, Hostomel, and Izium.

The question that arises is: why do the voices of these so-called “good russians” find a platform in media outlets such as Wyborcza, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, France 24, Reuters, various branches of Radio Liberty, and even within the pages of books? Should we actually listen to and amplify the voices of those who have allegedly “repented” (although in the case of Marat Gabidullin, what we hear instead of remorse is joy and pride), particularly when the war is still ongoing? Because it’s not at all about fostering a balanced exchange of opinions and preserving freedom of speech small logo

Сергій Одаренко
Сергій Одаренко
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