As a Gazprom manager, he earned almost $200,000 a year, lived a good life in Moscow and, despite the war, could have continued this life. But when Putin’s army declared war on Ukraine on February 24, Igor Volobuyev (50) resigned from his job at Gazprom Bank.
“I decided to travel to Ukraine that same day to defend the country there,” says Igor Volobuyev in an interview with the “Bild” newspaper. He did not speak to anyone in Moscow about his decision and entered Ukraine via Turkey and the EU. There he wanted to report to the military.
But the recruiting board turned down his offer because he had no military experience and would not survive a day at the front. “That is what differentiates Ukraine from Russia. We’re not looking for cannon fodder, we’re looking for experienced soldiers,” says Volobuyev. In another interview, he reported that he was otherwise involved in the resistance and that he was still in Ukraine.
“I think that when the Russian soldiers found free people who looked them in the eye without fear, it aroused even more aggression from them, which culminated in terrible massacres of the civilian population,” he says, referring to the brutal war crimes committed by Russians Soldiers. Above all, Ukrainians and Russians are socialized differently. While the Russians are obedient to the authorities, the Ukrainians are primarily interested in their freedom.
Asked about the alleged suicides of several top Russian managers at his former employer Gazprom in recent weeks, Volobuyev denies that these were suicides. “They knew too much, so they were eliminated,” he says.