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Media: More than 10,000 Russian soldiers prosecuted for refusing to fight in Ukraine

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 18, 2024 11:46 PM 2 min read
The Russian Foreign Ministry's building is seen behind a billboard with a soldier showing the letter "Z" – a tactical insignia of Russian troops in Ukraine – and reading "Victory is being forged in fire" in central Moscow on Oct. 13, 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images)
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More than 10,000 Russian soldiers have been prosecuted for refusing to fight in Ukraine, an investigation by Mediazona revealed on June 18.

Using online data from military courts, the outlet documented 10,025 such cases since September 2022 when the Kremlin announced a first wave of mobilization.

Of these, 9,059 were cases of unauthorized abandonment of a unit, 627 cases of failure to comply with an order, and 339 cases of desertion.

According to Mediazona, 8,594 of the accused have already been sentenced.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on March 31 to conscript 150,000 citizens as part of the regularly occurring spring conscription campaign.

According to the U.K. Defense Ministry, Russia is likely recruiting around 30,000 people a month to help bolster its war effort.

On June 18, Ukraine's 3rd Assault Brigade said Russian troops are intensifying attacks in the border areas of Luhansk Oblast, noting they appeared to have no problems with replenishing the large number being killed by Ukrainian forces.

According to the crowd-sourced DeepState monitoring service, Russia has amassed 10,000 troops as part of a "shock fist" to capture the village of Borova.

Borova had been occupied by Russian forces in March 2022 but was liberated later that year during Ukraine's sweeping counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast.

"The enemy is throwing entire platoons and companies of personnel at the assaults of our positions," the 3rd Assault Brigade wrote.

"Their rapid liquidation is compensated by the replenishment of manpower in the amount of 250-400 soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation every week."

Russian troops beheaded Ukrainian soldier in Donetsk Oblast, Kyiv claims
In a post on social media, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said his office has received information that Russian commanders had given orders “not to capture Ukrainian servicemen, but instead to kill them with inhuman cruelty - by beheading.”

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