Russian state TV guest says troops are being ‘taken to slaughter like sheep’

Rapper Ptakha has claimed that soldiers are being sent to Ukraine like "sheep to the slaughter" on Russia's state-owned propagandist channel NTV.

The Russian musician made the remarks live on the propaganda talk show Mesto Vstrechi (Meeting Place), whilst also arguing that young people do not see the point of the war and that sick people are sent to the frontline without any medical examination.

He told the programme's shocked hosts: "Few people understand what we’re doing there [in Ukraine] because they [Ukrainian troops] have not crossed the border. Leveraging the Soviet Union, the Soviet ideology, saying that we are fighting the Germans, is very questionable.

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"Young people resist; they are taken there forcibly, like sheep to the slaughter. It happens in every region, anywhere you look.

"Dima Pavlyuk, my buddy from Posledny Geroy [a reality show], a guy with physical and mental health issues, currently on medication, came to me yesterday after a visit to a military enlistment office and just sat there, shaking. Right in front of him, they enlisted a dude who had a heart valve problem."

Ptakha went on to suggest that many people are joining up with Wagner, the Russian paramilitary organisation, to make money from fighting in the war, rather than doing so through loyalty to Vladimir Putin and their country.

He added: "I have a lot of friends in the Wagner PMC now, guys fighting as we speak. They're making money.

"I'll be honest with you: Whoever joins Wagner does it for money. Do you really think they’re going there for the motherland?"

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Attempts to push an alternative narrative on Ukraine are rare on Russian TV channels but, during a live broadcast in March, Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova did appear behind host Ekaterina Andreeva holding up a sign saying: "Stop the war! Don't trust propaganda. They are lying to you."

She was consequently fined for discrediting the army and handed in her resignation from the TV channel.

When she then appeared in public with another sign reading: "Putin is a murderer", she was placed under house arrest.

After escaping house arrest and fleeing with her 11-year-old daughter, Ovsyannikova was put on a federal wanted list and arrested in absentia.


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