Why Russian Soldiers Are Refusing To Fight In The War On Ukraine. My son told me, 'I never thought my own country would treat me this way.' Updated at 1:10 p.m. on April 14 to add that the soldier's lawyer has taken down the original photo of the service card. But even before that, there are many reports from our intelligence officers, who work quite successfully, about what is going at the enemy both in the rear and on the front line there are very frequent refusals to participate in hostilities., Read also: Russians pushing for breakthrough near Vuhledar, but unlikely to succeed, says UK intelligence. Russian troops release video as they say they will not fight. Quote from the General Staff: "Troops from the so-called . 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ET Saturday: A curfew in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, has been extended from 5 pm until 8 am every day At least 198 Ukrainians, including three children, have been . Mr. Putin had resisted ordering a mobilization for months, but his decision underscored the Kremlin's struggles on the battlefield, where more than 80,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or . I didnt think I would quit, but it happened because of my wifes difficult pregnancy, when I asked for a delay until after she gave birth, a third soldier told Current Time in a VK message. "But refusing to fight was a difficult decision for him to take. War-weary Russian soldiers have been thrown in jail by their commanders after they refused to fight in Ukraine over the invasions total disregard for human life, a new report claims. Also, according to Dmytrashkivskyi, the 136th Brigade, which was formed for the war in Chechnya, has arrived in the Vuhledar area. Troops from the Russian so-called Cossack Detachment are refusing to take part in offensive operations due to Russian forces' heavy losses near Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast. What's he waiting for? "It was blown up from a grenade launcher or something else. ", "People here don't understand how much danger we're in. As Russia has faced a surprisingly effective resistance from Ukraine, there have been reports of low soldier morale and chaos among the commanding ranks. Sergei and Stas are not the real names of this father and son. Back in his living room, Sergei tells me that what happened to Stas in Ukraine has brought them closer together. All asked that their names be withheld for fear of further punishment or retaliation by commanders. Ukrainian . They've spent time in the trenches, getting cold and hungry, but when they come back they just get shouted and sworn at by their commanders.". I have served for five years in the army. Nearly all . He managed to contact his mother, Oxana, back in Russia to tell her what was going on. Support Ukrainska Pravda or become our patron! Separately, a military tribunal said it sentenced Kandarov to five years behind bars for evading military service during mobilisation for more than a month. "Later I was told that the building they were in had been shelled and that all five men were missing. All his bravado has gone. Then I started getting messages from him asking what would happen if he refused to fight.". They said no remains had been found. Read also: UK intelligence estimates Russian losses near Vuhledar. Theyre making everything so easy for you, guys. Lee said one option for the Kremlin would be to authorise the deployment of conscript units to Ukraine, despite Putins earlier pledges that Russia would not use any conscripts in the war. Their official status is missing in action. By Timofei Rozhanskiy. Many Russian soldiers would rather be dismissed or transferred than fight in Ukraine. Russian soldiers are increasingly dying from accidental friendly fire . These people are ready for anything. For that they sent my son to a detention centre. The soldier, along with several others who decided not to take part in the fight anymore, put his refusal in writing. He believes his commanders had planned to capture strongholds and key cities very quickly - and had calculated that the Ukrainians would simply surrender. But he stresses that Russian military law does include clauses which allow soldiers to refuse to fight if they don't want to. I want to return to my family and not in a casket.. Refusal then would mean much harsher penalties. And this, according to a video on social media app Telegram, has . A group of Russian soldiers recently sent Vladimir Putin a video complaining about "being sent to the slaughter" and begging for more military support in . Boris Johnson's cabinet received an update from a senior national security official on Tuesday morning. Id rather bury you on the front line, on the line of defense, than give up my position, he said, describing the sentiments of his commanders. R ussian troops have destroyed a concrete dam built in Ukraine's Kherson Region in 2014 to cut off water to Crimea, the RIA news agency quoted the governor of Russian-annexed Crimea Sergei . Approximately 60 paratroopers from Russia's Pskov region have refused to be deployed to Ukraine, newspaper Pskovskaya . Russian forces have significantly reduced activity in the Vuhledar area due to the mass refusal of their troops to go on the offensive, spokesperson for the Ukrainian military's Tavriiskyi District forces, Oleksiy Dmytrashkivskyi, said on Feb. 27. . According to an audio recording shared with Current Time, commanders met with the insubordinate soldiers on July 17, alternately threatening, begging, and trying to coerce them to remain in service or rescind their resignation requests. ", Russian mum's fight to save sons from Putin's war, Mariupol: 80 days that left a flourishing city in ruins, Pinned down by Russian fire in key frontline village. Independent Russian media have also been reporting hundreds of cases of soldiers refusing repeat deployments to Ukraine since the beginning of April. He said he would put his refusal in writing. "They beat him and then they took him outside as if they were going to shoot him. Kononov reportedly had taken part in President Vladimir Putin's so-called special military operation in the Eastern European nation but left his military unit without permission for more than 10 days. More than 26,000 Russian military personnel have been killed in . Homesick. Dmitri's refusal to fight in the war is the latest in a string of reports of Russian soldiers disobeying orders to join the fight. Ukrainian soldiers move on the road in the freed territory in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. The bosses response was: We dont care about your problems, go ahead and quit. He bombarded military officials, prosecutors and investigators with appeals for help. But they eventually calmed down because there wasnt much they could do, he said. I dont regret it one bit. The official warned that the next phase of the war was likely to be an "attritional conflict" which could last . Missing In Action: A Russian Soldier's Mother Desperately Seeks Answers, Vox Pop: Muscovites On How Russia's Isolation Affects Daily Life. Human rights activist Sergei Krivenko says he is not aware of any prosecutions of those refusing to return to the front. He revealed to his father what had happened to him in detention: how a "different group" of Russian soldiers had tried to force him to fight. Ukrainian media claims a "riot" broke out on the warships, based in nearby Crimea.. At the same time, a number of Russian helicopters and drones were flying over Luzanivka beach, preparing for landing.. The BBC has been speaking to one such soldier. A video of the incident that circulated online showed the soldier complaining of poor training, using obscenities, and calling the drills an imitation. Not only are they clueless, but they're simply refusing to fight, Scherba, who is currently in western Ukraine, tells co-host Molly-Jong-Fast. But analysts say voluntary recruits and mercenary groups are unlikely to lead to a substantial increase in the number of new soldiers, compared with the numbers that a partial or a full-scale mobilisation would bring. "There are held in pits, tortured and things like that. But after a certain adaptation period, our men fight brilliantly.". Sergey's complaints about lack of equipment have also emerged in phone conversations alleged to be between Russian soldiers and their families, intercepted and posted online by the Ukrainian security services. Troops from the Russian so-called Cossack Detachment are refusing to take part in offensive operations due to Russian forces heavy losses near Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast. In July, for example, 17 Russian soldiers were reportedly detained in the country's eastern Luhansk region after they said they would not continue fighting in the war and tried to end their short-term contracts. Law enforcement located the man, Marsel Kandarov, in September, the statement added. I didn't look back.". Russia has suffered a series of military setbacks in the Ukraine war that triggered criticism of the army's leadership. Sergey was told that returning to the unit was important because simply leaving could be interpreted as desertion, which can result in a two-year sentence in a disciplinary battalion. Russian servicemen near Kherson, Ukraine - 20 May 2022, By Olesya Gerasimenko and Kateryna Khinkulova, A convoy of Russian military vehicles heading towards the Donbas region - 23 February 2022, Local residents by a destroyed Russian tank in Sloboda, Chernihiv, Ukraine - 8 May 2022, Banner with the letters Z and V, in support of the Russian military, on a building in Moscow - 19 May 2022, Russian service personnel rehearse for the Victory Day Parade in Moscow - 7 May 2022, President Vladimir Putin visits soldiers wounded during the conflict in Ukraine - 25 May 2022, Pinned down by Russian fire in key front line village. Russia lacks sufficient ground units with contract soldiers for a sustainable rotation. "He told me he had refused to lead his men to a certain death," Oxana tells me. ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 27, 2023 / 13:45 pm (CNA). What is being given to Ukraine by the UK? Some troops are refusing orders, walking away from military bases or crossing the border into Ukraine and switching sides, media reports show. 2023 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved, When disinfo specialists lie, Gray Ladys DeSantis frustration and other commentary, Putins former spin doctor-turned-critic dead, Ukraines northeastern front could decide new battle lines, Biden needs to step up military aid for Ukraine fast. I thought a long time about it and came to the decision. Earlier Ukraines General Staff reported that invading Russian forces were seeing mass desertion among its troops amid Ukrainian military successes. He told me his face was covered in blood," the father said while speaking to the outlet. There have been an estimated 140 soldiers put behind bars in eastern Ukraine, with some allegedly guarded by pro-Moscow mercenaries in a military base surrounded by land mines, the Guardian reported. Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. "In a situation when there is shelling or bombs falling, all normal people cannot help but react to it, even on the physiological level. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Thanks for contacting us. The Insider. In a rare public spat involving the Kremlin, 25 National Guard 'refuseniks' defied their . He and several others who'd decided to refuse had their guns taken off them and were put under armed guard.". According to Kaminsky, the pressure ended up working in part: As of July 16, 50 of the 78 soldiers who had demanded to return to their home base had relented. "He said the [Russian] soldiers had been given no cover; there was no intelligence gathering; no preparation. Russians might be in favour of the conflict, but they dont actually want to fight, he said, adding that a general mobilisation would entail colossal losses of untrained soldiers. Read about our approach to external linking. In Buryatia, where the 11th Brigade is based, dozens of personnel have sought legal assistance from local activists, seeking to break their contracts and get out of service in Ukraine, for various reasons. We arent officially in a state of war, so they could not force me to go.. Deployed to Ukraine in July, Andrei was placed in detention for refusing to carry out orders. President Vladimir Putin promised that only professional soldiers would take part in his "special military operation.". 'I'd rather go to jail than fight in Ukraine', Surgeons operate on baby in Kyiv blackout, Station master arrested after dozens killed in Greece train crash, Covid origin likely China lab incident - FBI chief, Ukraine war casts shadow over India's G20 ambitions, Blackpink lead top stars back on the road in Asia, 'Wales is in England' gaffe sparks TikToker's trip, India anti-corruption crusader fighting to clear his name, Record numbers of guide dog volunteers after BBC story. Source: cnnespanol All news articles on 2023-02-28 You may like. Were bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. In another incident, Sergey says he had to overtake comrades trapped inside a burning vehicle in front of him. Russias troops in Ukraine are largely made up of contract soldiers: volunteer personnel who sign fixed-term contracts for service. A lawyer told Sergey and two like-minded colleagues to return their arms and go back to their unit's headquarters - where they should file a letter explaining that they were "morally and psychologically exhausted" and could not continue fighting in Ukraine. In Kononov's case, court documents say that he pleaded guilty to evading military service and that he testified he wanted to take a temporary break from fighting in Ukraine. "We rushed forward with short overnight stays, without trenches, without reconnaissance. It's not a war of liberation.' April 16, 2022 17:49 GMT. "They beat him and then they took him outside as if they were going to . It's absurd. But from our own side.". Instead they were expected to operate without even basic equipment, such as night vision devices, he says. Instead, men in uniform arrived and offered them amnesty if they agreed to fight alongside the Russian army in . The soldier, identified by the alias Vladimir, testified he was held in the town of Bryansk with about 80 soldiers guarded by the shadowy organization Wagner Group. After that, I wont look at any new offers.. ", "We do not have any problems with soldiers leaving combat positions," the Kremlin leader continued. It's not just Ukrainians resisting Vladimir . Some large government-run companies have received letters urging them to sign up their staff for the army. An anonymous specialist from a coalition of lawyers and experts from Russian human rights organizations told independent Russian news outlet MediaZona that Kononov's punishment in the form of a one-year restriction in military service does not imply early dismissal and is instead "something like corrective labor for military personnel.". 2d ago. "As an officer he understood that if they went ahead, they wouldn't get out alive. 2023 Cable News Network. He said the "Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered the most massive violations of human rights" being witnessed in the world today. But the soldier later discussed with his father what would happen if he refused to fight. Then I got a text message saying he and four other officers had been put in a basement. But there's a more common explanation. Read about our approach to external linking. "Another reason is the foul way they're being treated. One year from the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine, a Catholic priest recounted how a Ukrainian soldier was spared from being killed by . "You've got relatives there. Eventually his efforts paid off. A senior US defense official said Russian volunteers are refusing to go into . "It was a difficult decision for him to take. Kaminsky said discontent had been building in the unit for weeks, if not months. 'You're Nobody' A Russian military unit deployed in Ukraine's south has refused to fight over a lack of vital supplies such as water, Ukraine said Sunday. "Some soldiers, under the . Putin needs to make a decision regarding mobilisation in the coming weeks, said Rob Lee, a military analyst. Although Sergey does not want to return to the front line, he does want to complete his outstanding military service in Russia to avoid any unforeseen consequences. Some Russian soldiers and even whole units are "refusing to fight" in Ukraine, top UK security officials reported today. Leviev says his team estimates a sizeable minority of the Russian contract soldiers sent to Ukraine to fight in the initial invasion refused to go back again. Putin's army continues its full-scale aggression in Ukraine. Your effort and contribution in providing this feedback is much Reports from Russia said authorities would call up 300,000 people with "relevant" skills or military experience. "Inclined toward treason, lies . The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. The latest as of 7.15 a.m. ", "My first thoughts were 'Is this really happening to me?'". Moscow initially put about 80% of its main ground combat forces 150,000 men into the war in February, according to western officials. I understand everything, of course. Reinforcements failed to arrive and soldiers were poorly equipped for the task of taking a large city. Our commanders didnt even argue with us because we were not the first ones to leave, Bokov said. Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova said all of the Ukrainian defenders on Snake Island were killed in an exchange with a Russian warship after they refused to surrender. But you cannot force people to fight.". Belarus, a close ally of Russia, has supported its eastern neighbour in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.Before the start of the offensive, Belarus allowed the Russian Armed Forces to perform weeks-long military drills on its territory; however, the Russian troops did not exit the country after they were supposed to finish. A group of Russian soldiers are suing the army after they were fired for refusing to fight in Ukraine. Russia has also turned to mercenaries to bolster its war efforts, deploying fighters from the shadowy Kremlin-linked Wagner group. He simply declares that he has anti-war convictions. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reports on the conflict in Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin boasts of success, though some of his soldiers refuse to fight. Emilio Morenatti. The president announced what he called a "partial mobilisation", drafting hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens into the armed forces. When his son was sent to fight in Ukraine, Sergei begged him not to go. Source: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Facebook. I have nothing to be ashamed of. "We went without helicopters - just in a column, as though we were heading to a parade.". The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. We've received your submission. He is now home in Russia, having taken legal advice to avoid being sent back to the front line. "In these months [of compulsory military service] that I have left, anything - including the worst - could happen. Soldiers with the 127th Regiment of the 1st Army Corps rioted, according to the operational command. "I had thought that we were the Russian army, the most super-duper in the world," says the young man bitterly. "I'm morally exhausted. Im tired. A junior sergeant said he was injured during one of the recent Ukrainian attacks on the Russian border territory where he was stationed. But his stand changed after the soldier found out he had been sent to fight with "no intelligence gathering, no preparation and no cover". Russian soldier Ilya Kaminsky says rank-and-file troops have "absolutely no trust" in their higher command. By India Today Web Desk: As Russian troops try to take control over Ukraine's capital Kyiv, residents of the city are taking up arms to stand in the fight along with the country's military against Moscow's invasion.India Today's Rajesh Pawar visited an office of the Territorial Defence Forces in the city, where citizens are being equipped with weapons to defend against and fight off the . 2023 BBC. A Russian court sentenced a 24-year-old professional soldier to five years in prison for refusing to fight in Ukraine, officials have said. But you have until 6 p.m. today. But significant damage has been done to that army, which has confronted logistical problems, poor morale and an underestimated Ukrainian resistance. Vladimir Putins forces launched an invasion of Ukraine in February but never formally declared war, meaning soldiers can be fired but shouldnt be jailed, an attorney who has represented reluctant soldiers told the newspaper. "Those refusing to fight are doing so because they've had more than their fair share of front line action," explains Elena Popova. I told him: 'Better to take it. By Robert Coalson. During wartime, rules are totally different. One commander in northern Russia requested a criminal case be brought against his subordinate who would not return to Ukraine, but a military prosecutor refused to proceed, according to documents seen by the BBC. In the southern Russian town of Budyonnovsk, on the home base for the 205th Cossack Motorized Rifle Brigade, commanders have erected a wall of shame with the names, ranks, and photographs of some 300 soldiers who have disobeyed orders in the Ukraine war. While speaking, he blew cigarette smoke into an officers face, who responded by pushing him away. While the exact number of soldiers refusing to fight remains unclear, such stories illustrate what military experts and western governments say is one of Russias biggest obstacles in Ukraine: a severe shortage of infantry soldiers. I will serve my remaining time and then I am out of here, he said. So, they beat him over the head several times with a pistol. We were fed once a day at lunchtime. Russia launched the attack on Ukraine from three sides on February 24. "We're on the same wavelength now," Sergei tells me. Troops had been withdrawn from northern Ukraine and appeared to be regrouping for an assault in the east. "This is all nonsense and fake claims and there is nothing to back them up with. Reports of Russian soldiers refusing to fight in Ukraine are also mounting. Argument | Michael Walzer. Im supposed to be ready for any situation; this war, this special operation, one soldier wrote. TASS said the soldier expressed his dissatisfaction with the training of mobilised servicemen outside Moscow. At the beginning of April, Sergey was sent back over the border to a camp on the Russian side. A video showing two Russian soldiers being arrested after they refused to follow orders to fight in Ukraine has circulated on social media platform Telegram. His superiors argued that he should not be given the monetary compensation of up to 2,500 that wounded Russians are entitled to by law because his injury took place on Russian soil meaning it did not fall under the rules of Russias special military operation. It's not a war of liberation'," the man told the BBC. Discovery Company. When the soldiers of an elite Russian army brigade were told in early April to prepare for a second deployment to Ukraine, fear broke out among the ranks. Hawara: 'What happened was horrific and barbaric', The people who want you to believe the Ukraine war is fake. They were continually shelled, he says, both when moving and when parked overnight. Frank Gardner looks at what lies ahead as winter arrives in Ukraine. Many of us simply did not want to go back, said Dmitri, a member of the unit who asked not to be identified with his real name. The human rights activist said Kononov may be sent to serve in Ukraine again, explaining that the punishment means it will be even more difficult for him to achieve early dismissal. Timofei Rozhanskiy is a correspondent in Kyiv for Current Time, the Russian-language network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA. News/Politics 2022-12-22T11:35:49.577Z. The Insider. Fewer and fewer Russian servicemen want to fight for the Kremlin's invading plans. Because there are no criminal articles for requesting the termination of a contract based on anti-war beliefs, Krivenko told Current Time. But, after a few months, he made the decision to sign a two-year professional contract which would also give him a salary. Unit commanders then staged an intervention. If a soldier acts according to such procedures, then he cannot be criminally prosecuted for this. Under Russian military rules, troops who refuse to fight in Ukraine can face dismissal but cannot be prosecuted, said Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer who has been advising soldiers who choose that option. A Russian soldier's service card was stamped "traitor" for refusing . In phone conversations with Current Time, he said troops were not granted any leave for 4 1/2 months, even as the losses and casualties for the brigade mounted: Up to half of the brigades personnel -- around 1,000 -- have been either killed or wounded in action, he said. A Russian court sentenced a 24-year-old professional soldier to five years in prison for refusing to fight in Ukraine, officials have said. I still havent seen her. At some point, Kaminsky's unit was then transferred to Luhansk, in Ukraines Donbas region. 2. The men, who belonged to the key headquarters of the Pskov . Did you encounter any technical issues? Without a formal . Despite speculation beforehand, Putin did not formally declare war on Ukraine during his Victory Day speech on 9 May. They eventually calmed down because there wasnt much they could not force me to into! Decision regarding mobilisation in the unit for weeks, said Rob Lee, a military analyst servicemen to. Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 is being given to Ukraine by UK... 150,000 men into the armed forces of Ukraine on Facebook who decided not to.. Told Current time, the statement added was stamped & quot ; refusing... Ukraines Donbas region Russian military personnel have been killed in names be withheld fear. `` Later I was told that the building they were continually shelled, said... 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