July 19, 2024

Over 4.5K Russian Soldiers Convicted of Desertion Since Invasion – Proekt

Russian courts have convicted more than 4,600 soldiers for desertion and other offenses related to refusing to serve in the military since Moscow invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago, the independent investigative outlet Proekt reported Thursday.

Russia passed new legislation in the fall of 2022 that toughened punishment for voluntary surrender, conscientious objection and desertion.

Absence without official leave has been the most widespread criminal charge pressed against servicemen over the past two years, with 4,373 soldiers convicted during wartime compared to 527 in the pre-war year of 2021, according to Proekt.

That charge is followed by disobeying a superior’s orders, with 289 defendants being convicted of this crime in 2023 compared to only nine in the preceding five years.

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