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Bataysk court fines a conscript’s sister for publishing soldiers’ complaint video

Source: Meduza

The Bataysk municipal court in Russia’s Rostov region has fined Olesya Shishkanova, the sister of a recently drafted soldier, for publishing a video, in which conscripts from her brother’s unit complained about their conditions in the Russian army.

Shishkanova was fined 30,000 rubles (roughly $500) for “discrediting” the Russian armed forces. In the video she posted to the Bataysk Gorod Telegram channel, soldiers from her brother’s unit were trying to draw public attention to their lack of proper military training and necessities like uniforms, weapons, or even food:

We received weapons and ammunition: rusty cartridges, rusty grenades, rusty machine guns. Our requests for working plumb-meters and sights got no response, not to speak of the provisions we’re supposed to be getting. We pay for our food out of pocket.

“We don’t want to die for nothing — for the sake of the commanders who don’t know what to do with us,” the soldiers said. “We’re not afraid to go into battle. We simply don’t want to die as a laughing stock.” “I want lots of people to see this,” said a soldier in the video, “and try to do something to help us. At the very least, if anything happens to us, we want you to know whom to blame. We want someone to be held accountable for this.”

Olesya Shishkanova, who posted the video, says that she was fined for discrediting the army on the basis of the regional Interior Ministry department’s evaluation, whose experts have decided that the video “contains negative information” about the Russian armed forces. Shishkanova claims that she is innocent and had no plans to discredit the army.

Earlier, soldiers drafted in different Russian regions reported on being deployed without sufficient training or the needed supplies, weapons, or even food and medication. Their families began recording and publishing videos with requests to discharge their loved ones from the army.

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