The Central District Military Court of Yekaterinburg sentenced serviceman Marcel Kandarov to three years in a colony-settlement for refusing to participate in the war on the territory of Ukraine. It is reported by OVD-Info.
Initially, Kandarov was sentenced to five years in prison in the case of evasion from military service during mobilization (Part 5 of Article 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The Court of Appeal took into account the fact that two episodes in the contract soldier’s case took place in May 2022, that is, six months before the announcement of “partial mobilization” in Russia. On this basis, the man’s sentence was commuted.
According to human rights activists from the Movement of Conscious Objectors, in February 2022, Kandarov served under a contract in exercises near the border with Ukraine. During a full-scale Russian invasion, he ended up on the territory of Ukraine. A month later, the contractor returned to Russia for rehabilitation, where he filed a letter of resignation, saying that he did not want to kill people.
The command of the unit, according to human rights activists, delayed the consideration of Kandarov’s report, so the serviceman decided to go home and wait for his dismissal there. The man was detained in September 2022. All the time until the verdict was passed, the contractor was kept in pre-trial detention center No. 1 in Ufa.
As of the end of April 2023, Russian military courts received 1,064 cases against refuseniks – servicemen who arbitrarily left their place of service, refused to obey an order, or deserted. The largest increase in criminal cases against refuseniks, according to Mediazona, occurred in March 2023, when about 400 cases were sent to Russian garrison courts.
The largest number of cases against refuseniks, as journalists specify, were initiated under the article on the unauthorized abandonment of a unit during mobilization (Article 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation): at the end of April, 951 cases were submitted to the courts, of which 586 have already been decided. In second place are cases of non-execution of an order during mobilization (Article 332 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), 52 such cases are under consideration in the courts.
Most cases against refuseniks (75) were filed with the military courts of the Moscow region. Of the total number of these cases, 70 were opened under the article on the unauthorized abandonment of a unit during mobilization, two each for desertion and beating of a commander, and one for failure to comply with an order. This is followed by the courts of the Primorsky Territory and the Samara Region (46 cases each), and the third position is taken by the courts of the Sverdlovsk Region (45 cases).
After the announcement in Russia in September 2022 of “partial” mobilization, laws were passed that toughen punishment for crimes during the period of mobilization and in conditions of armed conflict. In particular, for refusing to participate in military or hostilities, imprisonment for a period of two to three years is offered (part 2.1 of article 332). And if such a refusal entailed “serious consequences”, the sentence can be increased to 10 years.
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