“My son was beaten for refusing to fight in Ukraine” Code List

  • steve rosenberg
  • BBC Russia Editor


Sergei (a pseudonym) says that his son was pistol-whipped for refusing to return to the front.

When his son was sent to fight in the Ukraine, Sergei begged him not to go.

“You have relatives there. Just reject yourself,” recalls Sergei telling Stas, who was already an army officer. “But he said he would go. He thought that he was doing the right thing. I told him that he was a zombie. And unfortunately, life would prove it to him.

Sergei and Stas are not the real names of this father and son. We have changed them to protect your identities. Sergei invited us to his house to tell us his story.

“So he went to Ukraine. Then I started getting messages from him asking me what would happen to him if he refused to fight.”

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