Documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal confirm that hundreds of Russian soldiers have deserted or refused to obey orders not to fight in Ukraine. Indeed, the paper notes, there have certainly been more desertions.
In the initial stage of the invasion, the Russian forces encountered stiff resistance and suffered heavy losses, and the desertion and insubordination of soldiers, including the Rosguard (National Guard), exacerbated the problems. – Confirms “WSJ”.
This puts the Russian authorities in a dilemma over how to punish soldiers who refuse to obey orders without giving the issue more publicity, which could limit the number of people willing to join the army and fight in Ukraine, experts estimate.
Lots of people don’t want to fight – said the Russian lawyer, Mikhail Beniasz, who represents more than a dozen of the Rosgard army. From Documents show that they are appealing the dismissal decision for refusing to comply with the order to enter Ukraine in February.
The Wall Street Journal wrote that the soldiers of Rosgard, used to quell protests inside the country, were sent to Ukraine to patrol the streets and suppress dissent in the occupied territories.
Beniasz claims that when he wrote on the web about the Rosguard military case, Within a few days, more than a thousand soldiers and officers from the Ministry of the Interior came to him for legal assistance. Many of them refused to obey orders to fight in Ukraine or to suppress protests in occupied cities.
None of us want this war – says defector Albert Sakhipgarev, 24, who was sent to “maneuvers” near the Ukrainian border in February, but deserted the army after learning that Russia was about to invade.
Documents received by the “Wall Street Journal” say, among other things, that On March 4, the commander of the military base ordered the dismissal of several hundred soldiers who refused to perform their duties near the Ukrainian border.. Another document, dated May 25, describes the rejection of the appeal of 115 Rosgard military men who were dismissed for refusing to enter Ukraine in February and early March.
And the following note was added to the identity card of one of the dismissed Russian soldiers: “He is prone to betrayal, fraud and hypocrisy. He refused to participate in a special military operation” – according to a photo of the document, published in May. Written by private attorney Maxim Grebnyuk.
The “Wall Street Journal” refers to this Russian law provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for desertion. Criminal charges may be dropped if the defector proves that he was subjected to severe pressure or was forced by personal matters to desert the army. Officially, soldiers may also refuse to obey orders they consider illegal.
According to Bowie Luzhin, a military specialist working in Moscow, penalties for failure to carry out orders in Ukraine have so far been limited to dismissal without payment of wages and loss of privileges. If the government publicizes these issues, it will inadvertently inflate the size of the defection, which is small in percentage but will continue to grow. Lusine said.
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