Ukrainian defector Oleg Popov and LPR People's Militia official representative major Andrei Marochko. Photo © LuganskInformCenter
Ukrainian soldier Oleg Popov, who defected to Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), expressed the desire to serve in the People’s Militia at the briefing in Lugansk Information Center.
On December 1st, Popov crossed the contact line on an infantry fighting vehicle and surrendered to LPR People’s Militia in one of the villages in Kirovsky district.
“I came to LPR as a soldier in order to go west. I want to join the Defense Forces of LPR and overthrow the [Kiev junta’s] authorities in Ukraine as a soldier of either Lugansk People’s Republic or Donetsk People’s Republic, depending on where I am going to be sent,” Popov claimed.
“I did not come to run away, and I did not run away. I was prepared to die by crossing the contact line. I could have been killed right there (while crossing the contact line – Lugansk Information Center)”, he explained.
“I wanted to be a soldier all of my life; I grew up in the military family. My father and grandfather are military professionals. When I had come to sign the contract (with the Ukrainian army – Lugansk Information Center), I had my own views on the army. But when I had joined the army, I saw something different,” Popov said.
He stressed that he “joined the army as a soldier, not a nationalist” and was disappointed to find himself amidst nationalists, who were mostly drug-addicted, criminals, or alcoholics.
The spokesperson of LPR People’s Militia Major Andrey Marochko explained that Popov is currently qualified as a “prisoner of war”. His future will be clarified in the course of the “necessary investigation procedure”.