An officer of the Russian Armed Forces was sentenced to two years and three months in a penal colony for refusing to go to war in Ukraine (Part 2.1 of Article 332 of the Criminal Code). Astra reports this.
The name of the soldier has not been released. Before this, he told the publication that before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, he was transferred to another battalion, so he was not sent to war from the very beginning, but at the beginning of March 2022, he received a combat order, but he refused to go to war.
“A significant part of my childhood friends, with whom I grew up, are fighting for Ukraine. And if I took part in hostilities, I would not be able to open fire on them,” he said. The man was born in Russia, but until the age of 15 he lived in the Lugansk region of Ukraine.
According to him, after the case materials were transferred to the prosecutor’s office, he “immediately decided” that “he would probably have to sit down.” “In my case, no matter how paradoxical it may sound, you need to get a real sentence in order to leave the army. Because if they give you a suspended sentence, then by law you are obliged to continue to serve. Therefore, my plans are to get a prison sentence, serve it, resign and leave here “In any case, I have to leave. I have children, they need to make a future. And for myself too,” the publication’s interlocutor said.
As of the end of April 2023, Russian military courts had received 1,064 cases against conscientious objectors – military personnel who left their place of service without permission, refused to carry out orders, or deserted. The largest increase in criminal cases against refuseniks, according to Mediazona, occurred in March 2023 – then 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 unauthorized abandonment of a unit during mobilization (Article 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation): by the end of April, 951 cases had been received by the courts, of which decisions had already been made on 586. In second place are cases of failure to comply with an order during mobilization (Article 332 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation): 52 such cases are pending in the courts.