Russian military leadership detains soldiers who refuse to fight in Ukraine, says Russian paratrooper

17 July, 03:50 PM
Invading Russian troops submit requests to be released from service, but these are being ignored, a Russian paratrooper has claimed. (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Invading Russian troops submit requests to be released from service, but these are being ignored, a Russian paratrooper has claimed. (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The Russian military leadership is detaining soldiers who have refused to take part in hostilities in Ukraine, a Russian paratrooper told the U.S.-funded Current Time news channel on July 16.

The Russian military leadership is detaining soldiers who have refused to take part in hostilities in Ukraine, a Russian paratrooper told the U.S.-funded Current Time news channel on July 16.

According to a Corporal Ilya Kaminsky, 10 of his comrades-in-arms who had refused to obey the orders of command to deploy in Ukraine have been locked up in the garage at his base.

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"They're kept locked up in the garage, they're locked outside," he said.

"They're fed once a day with some kind of gruel, tomorrow they will be sent to a pretrial detention center."

He added that those soldiers had had repeatedly submitted resignation letters, but none of them have been accepted.

Under Russian law, it is legal for soldiers to refuse orders to deploy in peacetime – since Russia has not officially declared war against Ukraine, there have been multiple reports of Russian soldiers, and at times entire units, that have refused to deploy to Ukraine.

Kaminsky said that in order to intimidate soldiers into not asserting their legal rights, Russian commanders often threaten their subordinates with stories involving other soldiers being sent to occupied Luhansk.

"These eight people are already very eager to join the ranks,” one Russian colonel, identified as Agafonov by Current Times journalists, said on a recorded conversation in the journalists’ possession.

“They want it very much... They're already ready with a machine gun on a motorcycle. I don't know what was done to them there, what they were told, how they were told about the criminal article about non-compliance with the order, etc. I'm already tired of talking, defending your honor... You still have a chance. I'm ready to take one of you with me to the commandant's office now so that you can listen to what they were told and what threatens them, that all eight of them really wanted to join the ranks again."

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