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Russian authorities sentence draft-evading FSO officer who was deported from Kazakhstan to 6.5 years in prison

A Barnaul court has sentenced Mikhail Zhilin, a Russian Federal Protective Service officer who fled to Kazakhstan after the start of Russia’s fall mobilization campaign, to 6.5 years in prison on desertion and illegal border crossing charges.

According to investigators, in the fall of 2022, Zhilin sold his real estate in Russia, told his commanders he was “unfit” for service, and crossed the border into Kazakhstan without passing through an official crossing point, all to avoid being sent to the war in Ukraine.

Zhilin was later arrested by Kazakhstani border agents. The Kazakhstani authorities refused to grant him asylum and, in late December, deported him to Russia. Zhilin’s wife has confirmed that he was deported for illegally crossing the border and not extradited at Russia’s request.

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