A video has gone viral featuring a captured Russian commander begging for "mercy," saying he and his fellow Russian soldiers were lied into war by their government.
Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich said he and the Russian people were told that Ukraine's government had been overthrown by Nazis and needed to be liberated.
Mikhailovich said he and his countrymen were "brainwashed," but now he feels "shame" in taking part in "genocide" and says Ukrainians are "right" to resist Russia's invasion.
To Russian troops still fighting, Mikhailovich said, "I'm begging you, stop before it is too late...Russia cannot win here."
"If someone came to my territory, I would do the same as these people did and I would be right," he said.
"They are right now," Mikhailovich added.
He was very clear about what Russia was doing to Ukraine.
"Guys, be brave. It's easier for me, I'm in this situation already. You are in a tense situation, going against your own commander," Mikhailovich said in a message to his fellow soldiers.
"But this is genocide, the people are just killed," he said. Mikhailovich's words are reportedly similar to other statements that have come from captured Russian soldiers. Mikhailovich is also a boxing fan and said that discovering two famous boxers were standing with Ukraine gave him pause.
He also said he would fight back if someone tried to take his territory.
"I personally, just when we entered this territory, when I watched the address of the professional boxers - your boxers - back home I always loved watching them," Mikhailovich said.
He recalled, "[Olexander Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko], they are my favorite, I mean that when I say it. These people are just ready to take arms, and they said: 'We didn't call you here.'"
"And I feel shame that we came to this country, to this territory, Ukraine's territory," Mikhailovich added. Mikhailovich described the utter futility of what Russia was doing to Ukraine.
"We can invade the territory, but we cannot invade the people," he continued. "We would not be able to keep this territory and total emptiness would be around us. We would live like on an island and no one would talk to us. And this would be fair. A Russian would be ashamed to confess that he is Russian. He would always get a thump on the head for the deeds we do now."
"This is terrible," he said. "I've never seen anything before, never thought that at the end of my life I would face something like that. This opportunity, I do not need it, my mum does not need it. I can only imagine her emotional state." Mikhailovich then said, "I'd like to add something, I cannot find the words to say sorry to the Ukrainian people. If you find enough, find the strength to move past the memory. If not, we will understand you."