I never take news articles like this at face value. Ever.
I’ll explain why?
- 1- We can’t verify that this was an actual Russian citizen
- 2- We can’t verify that this person was on Russian territory or left Russian territory.
Ifthe claim made is accurate how did this person get across the Lithuanian border and make it all the way to Vilnius before arrest? Big assumption on my part that the defector could have left the Russian territory of Kaliningrad it would still be an extended trip to Vilnius- How did he travel? There is no information. If he did not leave from Kaliningrad??? There’s more questions that need answering…. I’ve no clue where what part of Russian territory he left from? Or if he left from Russian territory at all!
- Lithuanian officials were contacted- it doesn’t appear there was a response of any sort- No denial. No confirmation. Nothing
A Russian military officer defected to Lithuania, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member, on Thursday, requested political asylum in an attempt to escape the war with Ukraine. News of the development broke on Friday from BBC News, which reported that Ivan Korolev, a lieutenant in the Russian army, had illegally crossed the border into Lithuania, which has been a member nation of NATO since 2004.
The crossing took place on Thursday,(Aug 10/23) with the lieutenant making his way to the capital city of Vilnius
before being detained by border guards and taken into custody at a checkpoint. Speaking directly with BBC News, Korolev said he made the decision to defect a week prior on August 3, no longer wishing to take part in the “bloody war” with Ukraine. He also said he had never taken part in the direct conflict in Ukraine itself, rather serving in different capacities.
“On August 3, I decided to leave the Russian Federation due to the fact that I did not want to take part in the bloody war that my state unleashed,” he said. “At the moment I am in the Republic of Lithuania, where I asked for political asylum.” He continued: “I participated in the [special military operation], but remained on the territory of the Russian Federation this whole time. I have not been on Ukrainian territory. We supplied Russian troops with ammunition. We took ammunition from all over Russia, from all parts, from all arsenals, and distributed it to brigades, units directly in Ukraine.” Korolev is has been transferred to a migration center in Pabradė while his political aslyum application is processed and considered.
Newsweek reached out to Lithuanian officials via email for comment.
No response was mentioned.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a Russian speaking Latvian citizen make claims of a defection. It can play out through the media as a positive for the West aka NATO. And a negative for Russia. Bottom line, we got nothing else!