Video of a pilot apparently admitting he had been ordered by his Russian commanders to bomb a civilian target has been widely shown on Ukrainian media.
During a press conference streamed by Interfax Ukraine, the pilot, who gave his name as Maxim Krishtop, described how he had learned of his order, which he carried out before being shot down on March 6 and captured by Ukrainian forces.
In the process of completing the task, I realized that the target was not enemy military facilities, but residential buildings, peaceful people.
But I carried out the criminal order,” said Krishtop, a lieutenant colonel and deputy commander of the 47th Aviation Regiment.
He said that he was shot down by Ukraine’s air defense system and taken prisoner. The order to carry out air strikes came on February 23, the day before Russia began its invasion.
I recognize the enormity of the crimes committed by me.
I want to ask forgiveness from the entire Ukrainian people for the misfortune that we brought them, he said.