At the end of November 2022, the Russian construction worker Vitali Taktashow will be drafted. He has hardly any military experience. The 31-year-old has to travel from Moscow to Tokmak in southern Ukraine. Here he spends the night in a train station.
Russian soldier describes impressions in Ukraine in diary
Loud “Sunday Times” he describes his impressions and emotional state at the front in a diary from the very beginning. In all of the reports, Taktashow’s desperation is clear. In total, he is said to have written 33 diary entries addressed to his wife and son, written as letters. But on January 6, the 31-year-old suddenly stopped writing.
The Russian soldier kept loose contact with his family by telephone until June 22nd. It is the last sign of life from the construction worker. Eventually, Ukrainian soldiers found him in the Zaporizhia region in July. Taktashow was left behind by his unit in the Russian retreat. The Ukrainians discover the diary on him.
The “Sunday Times” quotes Taktashow from this on November 29: “I miss you so much and I want to talk about so many things. We are near a group of Chechens and hear shots in the night. Drones fly, we saw artillery in action.”
Another day read: “I don’t want to kill anyone. Because all religions say, ‘Don’t kill’. I hope that we don’t kill and that they don’t kill us.” As time goes by, his statements become more and more desperate. It is also clear that he is involved in fighting in Zaporizhia.
Russian soldier: ‘I have thoughts of shooting everyone around me’
He writes: “I have thoughts of shooting everyone around me or myself.” Taktaschow also toyed with the idea of letting a falling tree fall on his leg so that he could have gone to an infirmary for “three to six months”. He only survives because of his family.
And so Taktashow fights on, stays at the front. Until his unit leaves him behind. After Ukrainian soldiers find the father of the family, they bury him – because of the heat.