Interview with V. (Moscow)

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Key information

Title: Interview with V. (Moscow)
Date: 01/04/2012
Interviewer: Miriam Dobson (MD)
Interviewee: Interviewee, V. (V)
Transcriber:
Duration: 1 hour(s) 09 minutes and 47 seconds
Location: Moscow

Conversation

V I was very worried because I wanted to study, I was very worried about what awaited me in the army. For us it was a sin to pick up a machine gun, there were lots of things you were expected to do, I didn’t want to offend the Lord and do something wrong. There was no-one to ask advice from, my parents couldn’t give me good advice that was reasonable and firm.
MD What did they advise?
V They said, ‘Resign yourself to it, son, and join the army.’ I said, ‘Mother, should I pick up a machine gun, or not, shall I refuse to take the oath, or not?’ She said, ‘God will advise you.’ I joined the army and took the oath, I served in the border guards in Murmansk, then they learned that I was a Baptist. A personal case-file was opened where they wrote in capital letters ‘Baptist’. I was transferred from the border guards to a construction battalion. I served eighteen months in this construction battalion, in the Construction Corps. Essentially this was the contingent: juveniles, young men who had served between 5 and 8 years in prison for various crimes. These were the people I served with for eighteen months.
MD It was probably very difficult.
V Unbelievably difficult.