I, too, fought in an unpopular war. Most of the world has taken a stand against the country of Russia. But what is a Russian soldier to do? He loves his nation, and he wants to make his family proud. In the highly autocratic military backed by an extremely demanding government, I ask again, "What is a Russian soldier to do?
The simple answer is, I don't know. I don't know what you should do when disobeying orders would be your death sentence. I don't know what you are to do when faced with decisions that man was never designed to decide. I do know that war leaves indescribable guilt upon its participants. War opens the eyes of those who experience it to see things the mind will struggle to forget and will dare not forget.
I, perhaps, can better address what a man in the Russian military should not do. Do not sell your soul even if others around you seem to be doing just that. Retain as much of your humanity as possible in the inhumane enviornment of war. Do your best to stay alive and to return to your loved ones. Whenever possible, show mercy.
When you return home, do not seal yourself off from all others. The only thing that has saved me over the years from insurmountable guilt is finding Christ. The worship services you may have become accustomed to are not what I'm talking about. The Russian government, for some reason, is attempting to squash churches who teach the news of Christ in a different way than orthodox Russian churches present it.
The eye appealing pageantry of the ornate churches and their formal services represent very little of the truth for our times. How do I know? I have visited Russia at least half a dozen times and preached the Gospel in Siberia. I watched as those who had become inoculated to a living faith began to realize that God is alive. He has a message for the whole world, a special message for us who are living at this time in history.
I pray you will survive the current war and return to your home. There, I know you will not content yourself with going about life as usual. I hope you will not rest in your soul until you discover the true character of God. You will be in turmoil and there is but one cure. War is of man's making. Peace, brotherly love, and forgiveness is of God.
I pray for you and I pray for those whom you know as your enemy.