Marquel, TPVs NYTimes Lost Soldiers Section correspondent, was playing with his nutcracker when he read that Relatives of Russian Soldiers Captured by Ukraine Demand Answers.
About 50 women met at a military base to seek information about their loved ones, as Russians began to question the extent of their country’s involvement in Ukraine. Putin denies that any Russian soldiers entered Ukraine. “That would be a violation of international law,” he says. Suggests talks with Americans, the “well known international criminals.” Otherwise, he said, “they obviously got lost. If Ukraine had any humanity, it would show them the way home.”
“They told us we were invading. We said we couldn’t invade a fellow former Soviet state. The general said, ‘then get lost.’ We knew what he wanted us to do. So we went west.”
“A little of both. The Ukrainians aren’t stupid. They turned all the signs around. Every time we got within 10km of Donetsk, we found ourselves on the road to the Russian border again.”
“Right now we don’t know where we are except somewhere in Ukraine. We have orders to shoot and bomb so we’re shooting and bombing.” He said.
“Whatever is big enough to shoot or bomb,” he said
“Because we don’t know where we are, we don’t know where they are either. But they got lost around the third circle we made trying to get back to Donetsk from that road to the Russian border.” He said.
“Yes, I guess so, I never heard of him telling the truth before but this time he got it right. The public may not forgive a mistake like that. He’s our liar. He’s supposed to be good at it.” He said.
“Go west.” He said
“I suppose follow the signs but if I were you I’d check each sign and see if it’s been moved. If so, go the opposite way.” He said.
“What happened?” He asked.
“These Ukrainians are smart. Do you know what they did?” He asked.
“They dug up the street signs but didn’t turn them so each time you went the opposite way you were coming back here.” He explained. “Crafty.”
He pointed towards the former city center. “Nothing left to shoot or bomb,” he said. “Our job is done.”
He shrugged. “If we can find it.”