The fury of the commanders of the Russian troops at the refusal of the soldiers to fight in Ukraine. A team of lawyers has received requests from officials who do not want to participate in the conflict.
Despite threats of imprisonment for refusing to take part in the fighting in Ukraine, hundreds of Russian soldiers refuse to be sent to war.
As reported by The Guardian, more than a hundred Kremlin soldiers have contacted lawyer Mikhail Benyash and his team, “for advice on how they could avoid being sent to fight. Among them were 12 members of the National Guard from the city of Krasnodar, in southern Russia, who were fired after refusing to go to Ukraine.
According to Benyash, Russian military rules state that troops who refuse to fight in Ukraine can be fired but not prosecuted. This is because the Kremlin has decided to classify the invasion of the neighboring country as a “special operation” and not as a war.
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Many soldiers have therefore chosen to be sacked or transferred rather than go to “the meat grinder,” Benyash told the British outlet.
“Commanders try to threaten their soldiers with prison terms if they disagree, but we tell soldiers they can just say no,” he added.
FEAR IN THE TROOPS
After the results seen during the first weeks of the invasion, fear broke out in the battalions that, in April, were being summoned to the cause of the Kremlin.
“It soon became clear that not everyone agreed. A lot of us just didn’t want to go back,” said Dmitri, a member of the army’s elite brigade unit based in eastern Russia who asked not to be identified by his real name. “I want to go back to my family, and not in a coffin.”
Along with eight others, Dmitri told his commanders that they refused to rejoin the invasion. “They were furious. But eventually they calmed down because there wasn’t much they could do.”
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The officers’ refusal to fight also highlights one of the military difficulties the Russian Army has faced as a result of the Kremlin’s political decision not to formally declare war on Ukraine.
“I have served for five years in the Army. My contract ends in June. I will serve the time that I have left and then I will leave here,” she said. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. We are not officially in a state of war, so they couldn’t force me to go.”
Recently, the British news network, BBC, also showed that the Russian Ministry of Defense filled the employment websites. with openings offering people with no combat experience opportunities to join the Army. The offer included lucrative short-term contracts.
The outlet also noted that some large government-run companies have received letters urging them to enroll their staff in the military.
The Guardian notes that Russia has also turned to mercenaries to bolster its war effort, deploying fighters from the shadowy Kremlin-linked Wagner group.
“But analysts say that voluntary conscripts and mercenary groups are unlikely to lead to a substantial increase in the number of new soldiers, compared to the numbers that a partial or full mobilization would bring,” the report explains.
According to Andrei Kolesnikov, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, authorities may be concerned that a general mobilization will antagonize large sections of the population that support the Russian invasion.
Civilians “might be in favor of the conflict, but they don’t really want to fight,” he said, adding that a general mobilization would mean “colossal losses of untrained soldiers.”