Soldiers, not older than 19 years. One who spoke a bit of English. A limited conversation was possible.
When I looked into the faces of the soldiers standing around me, I could see childishness pared with innocence. Boys, not men yet?
But at the same time, they are ready to kill and they are ready to die in the fight.
To fight a battle that is more than 10.000km away from their home Vladivostok.
The guy who run me over in his car last year by not respecting the right light was 20 years old. He was punished after German juvenile criminal law.
At the other end of the world, younger men as him were recruited to fight a war for a cause they might not even understand themselves clearly enough. Younger man who might have joined the military mainly because of financial needs?
Still, they were more boys then men to me.
Something we might consider to prohibit on an international level.
But who would then go to war, in particular when not in front of your door step.