Draftees from Yaroslavl say their superiors want to accuse them of desertion after ordering them to retreat
Draftees from the Yaroslavl region fighting in Ukraine released a video, in which they say their superiors are trying to accuse them them of deserting, when they left their combat positions on the orders of the company commander. The local publication Pro Gorod posted the soldiers’ video.
Journalists got the clip from the wives of some of the draftees. In text accompanying the video, Pro Gorod notes that the video is addressed to President Vladimir Putin.
More than a dozen draftees were present in the clip. Neither the video nor Pro Gorod’s post specify where they are located, but the clip features audible explosions.
“Please look into the situation. We were given an order by our company commander to retreat from our positions, because we were taking tank and mortar fire. Command, for their part, didn’t cover us or give us any support. We had only machine guns, and all the other weapons were damaged. Now they want to accuse of us deserting, since the commander says he never gave the order. Command doesn’t give a shit about us,” says one of the soldiers.
According to the soldier, the mobilized men were promised from the start that they’d serve in territorial defense, but in fact they were sent to the front. “We’re asking you to looking into all this, and we’re asking for your help,” he said in closing.
The draftees also claim that their superiors are currently trying to have them distributed among different units so that they can’t collectively assert their rights, notes Pro Gorod.
Some of the mobilized soldiers’ wives and mothers told Pro Gorod that the men have been in Ukraine since November 28. They say the soldiers are now “in a heavy combat zone” and that any payments they’ve received have gone toward purchasing equipment.
The wives and mothers also voiced general support for the war. A draftee’s wife told Pro Gorod, “We’re all for victory in the special military operation. That’s why we’re demanding the conditions for it: decent uniforms and weapons, and only professional soldiers active in hot spots
They are preparing an appeal to Russia’s Investigative Committee, the military prosecutor, and Vladimir Putin.
On September 20, the day before mobilization was announced in Russia, the State Duma made emergency amendments to criminal articles on desertion and unauthorized leave. The amendments provided for tougher punishment for such actions during periods of mobilization or combat activities. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the amendments on September 24. In December, Russian courts began sentencing under the articles.