Russian Soldier Files Case Against Superior for Detaining Them in Prison for Refusing to Fight: Report

A group of Russian soldiers accused their senior commanders of imprisoning them in eastern Ukraine because they refused to participate in the war, news agency the Guardian reported.

This is the first case reflecting tensions within the Russian military ranks which also came to public knowledge.

Maxim Grebenyuk, speaking to the news agency, said his Moscow-based advocacy organisation Military Ombudsman is representing 70 Russian soldiers who were held as prisoners in several locations across Luhansk and other territories which Russia annexed earlier this year.

Grebenyuk said four Russian soldiers filed written complaints with the investigative committee demanding justice and punishment for their superiors who detained them.

“We already have a list of 70 Russian soldiers who were held as prisoners. In total, about 140 soldiers were held,” Grebenyuk was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

A soldier in his written testimony said since he refused to return to the frontlines, he was imprisoned several times for more than a week in different cells in Luhansk.

The soldier said that he did not want to go to war because his commander made tactical and strategic mistakes and showed total disregard for human life.

The soldier was placed in a room with window bars on July 19 and he was held there with 25 others from his unit.

All of them refused to fight.

The soldier was then transferred to the town of Bryansk in Luhansk where he was held in a former school. Here he was with 80 other soldiers who also refused to go to the frontlines.

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Soldiers from the private military firm Wagner guarded them. Wagner soldiers are known to be harsh towards deserters and those who flee its ranks, and are known to have even beheaded them in Syria and North Africa.

The soldier in his application said Wagner’s soldiers said that mines were placed outside the school and those who fled will be considered an enemy and shot dead on spot.

He said there was no hygiene and they survived on a single meal.

The soldier has demanded a criminal investigation into two Russian colonels and a major whom he held accountable for his imprisonment.

The soldier said he was allowed to leave after a military doctor recommended that he be hospitalised for his previous injuries suffered during the war.

The news of imprisoning soldiers goes on to show that claims made by the West, that Russians are suffering from low morale, could indeed be true.

Earlier there were reports that Vladimir Putin’s mobilisation drive was met with hostility in regions where ethnic minorities have a majority.

Russia continues to recruit new soldiers to fuel its military operation in Ukraine but the West claims that it is getting tougher to find new recruits.

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