A Russian prisoner of war captive in Ukraine whispered “What the f*** for?” after his girlfriend risked the wrath of Putin and negotiated with the enemy to travel to see him in jail with their children.
Irina Krynina, 37, hadn't seen Evgeny Kovtkov, 34, since he was enlisted one year ago and sent first to occupied nuclear city Energodar before being forced to the frontline near Bakhmut. He was captured on 7 July.
Irina said she made the risky journey “to save you and stop the war," criticising Vladimir Putin's invasion and admitting that she knows she cannot return to Russia.
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His first words to her when they met were a whispered: “What the f*** for?”
She admitted “he’s not happy” after her 3,000-plus mile odyssey – beating the FSB security service – to reach Ukraine.
Irina admitted: “This is what I was afraid of” – concerning his reaction.
He hugs her and the sessions are held on camera by prominent Ukrainian journalist Volodymyr Zolkin.
Despite schemes from Ukraine for wives or partners and mothers to come and rescue Russian men, Irina is the first to do so.
He asked her: “Why did you come here [to Ukraine]?”
She replied: “That’s what we'll talk about now. You've been in captivity for three months and you don't know what's going on in Russia.”
She made clear: “Russia doesn't give a s*** about those who died with you in Klishchiivka [where he was captured] or that they're still lying there rotting.
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“That they don't give a s*** about you in captivity."
He seemed genuinely shocked and asked: “Why?”
The PoW – after ten months fighting for Putin before being captured – was asked what he felt about his partner crossing enemy lines to find him.
“Shocked,” he replied.
“Could you imagine this?” he was asked, to which he replied: "No, I couldn’t.”
“What are your thoughts now?” he is then asked. “No thoughts…I’m shocked that this happened.”
The prisoner said he considered his partner's actions: “an achievement.”
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Irina told him that for her there was no way back while Putin remains in the Kremlin.
She wants him to help her make videos telling the truth about the war – but it is unclear that he agrees.
“Just so you know, I came here, realising that I no longer had a road back to Russia,” she said.
“That is, I will either be imprisoned – this is the best case, and the worst will be what happened to [Wagner army boss Yevgeny] Prigozhin [dying in a plane crash].”
He said he knew of Progozhin’s fate with many believing the mercenary chief was assassinated on the orders of his former protector – Putin.
Irina said: “So I took two children, one suitcase for three – and came here. To save you and stop the war.”
In Russia she had already come onto the radar FSB security service – once headed by Putin – after voicing anti-war messages on social media.
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