Skip to content
Edit post

Russia detains man in Buryatia for allegedly trying to convince soldiers to defect to Ukraine

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 8, 2023 1:12 PM 2 min read
Natives from the Russian region of Buryatia protest in front of the Russian General Consulate on Jan. 7, 2023, against the arrest of activist and journalist Natalia Filonova (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

A man in the eastern Siberian republic of Buryatia was arrested by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) for allegedly working with Ukrainian intelligence to convince Russian soldiers to defect once they reached the front, Russian state-run media TASS reported on Nov. 8, citing the FSB's press office.

The suspect used "false information" to "discredit" the Russian military, the FSB claimed. The man was charged with treason.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a decree in April 2023 raising the maximum punishment for treason to life in prison.

Russian authorities have regularly charged perceived opponents of the regime with treason, a practice that started before the beginning of the full-scale invasion in 2022. The crackdown on public expression has significantly grown since then. As Russian law enforcement is notoriously closed about its practices, it is impossible to say if there is any validity to the charges.

In addition, the charge of "discrediting the military" has been widely applied, resulting in the criminalization of any criticism of the invasion or contradiction of Russian propaganda.

Two men in occupied Crimea were fined 40,000 rubles each ($400) in October for "publicly discrediting the Russian army" after they were caught listening to a Ukrainian song in public.

The two men were fined for playing the song "Good evening, we are from Ukraine."

Ukraine has encouraged the defection of Russian soldiers, especially if they bring military equipment with them.

A 24-hour hotline, called "I Want to Live" in Russian, was released by Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence in September 2022 to help Russians to surrender themselves or their units to the Ukrainian military.

A Russian helicopter pilot defected in August 2023, landing his Mi-8 helicopter at an airfield in Ukraine to give himself up to the authorities. Ukraine's Military Intelligence (HUR) said he would receive the hryvnia equivalent of $500,000 (approximately Hr 18 million).

How Russia’s homegrown Lancet drone became so feared in Ukraine
In the bubble of pro-Ukraine communities on the Internet, the constant inflow of battlefield videos showing the destruction of Russian equipment regularly lifts the moods of hundreds of thousands of supporters of Ukraine’s struggle around the world. Wander over to the Russian side of the internet,…
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

12:22 AM  (Updated: )

Source: Investigators preparing to charge anti-corruption activist Shabunin.

Shabunin, who joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a volunteer at the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022 and has served since then, denied the accusations and said the cases were fabricated. He believes the cases to be a political vendetta against him by the President's Office, including President Volodymyr Zelensky's deputy chief of staff Oleh Tatarov.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
1:35 AM

CNN: Allies debating what commitment to give Ukraine on NATO membership.

The United States and allies are debating what to commit to Ukraine's NATO membership at the upcoming 75th anniversary summit in Washington, CNN reported on June 19. U.S. officials are reportedly facing criticism from European countries for not willing to go as far as countries closer to Russia would prefer.
10:14 PM

Ukraine restores ferry service with Georgia.

The sea voyage from the city of Chernomorsk in Ukraine's Odesa Oblast to Batumi in Georgia will be the first between the countries since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
8:15 PM

EU, Ukraine finalize text of security deal.

The EU is expected to join 16 countries, including the U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, and France, that have signed similar bilateral treaties to help Kyiv repel Russia's aggression.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.