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Conscripts held in basements and a dilapidated jail after refusing to return to the front
Publication Astra reported on October 22 that around 20 mobilized Russians were imprisoned in the annexed Luhansk region for refusing to return to the front lines. Astra cites close contacts of several of the conscripts.
According to the publication, the group includes residents of Bryansk and other regions of Russia. At least two of them did not sign their summonses, which is a violation of draft rules. The men received minimal training, after which they were sent to the Belgorod region.
The sister of one of the mobilized men said, “On the morning of October 1, he had already arrived at a military unit in Belgorod, and by evening of the same day he was sent to the front lines on Ukrainian territory. From October 1 to October 2 he and his fellow service members were under mortar fire, after which they returned to the unit and discovered that absolutely all of their personal belongings were missing.”
A friend of the same conscript said, “They were ordered back to the front, but they realized they were being sent there without a clearly defined task, and without any of the things they needed to complete incomprehensible assignments, so they refused.”
Astra published two videos, filmed by the conscripts, of the premises where they were held. In one of them, the man filming says the date – October 2. Astra reports that they had been ordered back to the front under threat of 10 years in prison.
The men were held first in a basement in Kreminna, then in a basement in Rubizhne, and according the latest information, they are currently on territory that has been partially destroyed by shelling, in a non-functioning prison in the Perevalsk region of formally annexed Luhansk. On October 28, Astra contacted the Red Cross, which has a branch in the area. The Red Cross said they currently do not have access to “such establishments.”
Russian mobilization was announced on September 21. On October 28, Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu told Putin it was complete. According to Shoigu, 300,000 people were called up: 82,000 have already been sent to the front, and 218,000 are in training.
Mobilization will officially end when Vladimir Putin signs the corresponding decree. So far, he has not done so.
Conscripts and their families have complained repeatedly that mobilized men are sent to the front without the necessary training or equipment. In his meeting with Putin, Shoigu acknowledged problems with supplies, but said they occurred during the first stage of mobilization and have now been resolved.
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