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Russian authorities open criminal case against military doctor for refusing to serve in Ukraine

Source: Pavel Chikov

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against Medical Corps Lieutenant Denis Vasilyev for refusing to take part in combat, Pavel Chikov, the founder of the human rights group Agora, reported on Monday.

According to Chikov, Vasilyev graduated from Russia’s Military Medical Academy in 2022 and has been serving in a military unit of the Northern Fleet since last summer, but has been trying to resign from the military the entire time. In September, his name was reportedly submitted for early discharge, but after Putin announced mobilization, he was forced to remain in the military. 

Vasilyev was subsequently offered a chance to transfer to Franz Josef Land, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, and agreed. Before he could ship out, however, he received an order to go to Ukraine, which he refused, citing his personal convictions, according to Chikov.

Vasilyev stands accused of failing to obey orders in wartime, a charge punishable by up to three years in prison. 

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