Pavel Filatyev was born in 1988 in Volgodonsk, Russia. He followed in his father's footsteps by enlisting in the Russian army as soon as he was of age, and was later a horse breeder and a history student. During the pandemic, he re-enlisted as a paratrooper. Forced by the terms of his contract – and misinformed about the purpose of the attack – Filatyev was part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. After he was evacuated from the front line two months later, he wrote ZOV, an account of what he witnessed in Ukraine. With the help of the New Dissidents Foundation and Gulagu.net, Filatyev left Russia to escape prosecution for going public with his protest against the war. He is currently based in France, where he has requested political asylum.