Famously vengeful Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote a column about his parents’ experiences during World War II. In Thursday’s Russian Pioneer, Putin details his father’s injuries, his mother’s suffering, and his brother’s death, but he ends on a surprising note: Despite all that, his parents didn’t hate the Germans. “What kind of hate can I have toward the soldiers?” Putin recalls his mother saying. “They are just regular people and also died in the war.” According to the column, Putin’s father volunteered to serve in combat, and at one point survived by hiding in a swamp and breathing through a reed straw for hours. Twenty-four of the 28 people in his unit died, and the senior Vladimir Putin later suffered a debilitating shrapnel wound. The article comes ahead of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, which is a major holiday in Russia.