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Russia jails soldier for refusing ‘special mission’ deployment


A Russian court has jailed a Chechen soldier for refusing to deploy amid growing reports of servicemen refusing to fight in Ukraine.

The court ruling did not say whether contract soldier Ali Musayev defied orders to fight in Ukraine, saying only that he refused to participate in a “special mission”.

But the date of Musayev’s alleged insubordination – April 23 – as well as Russia’s preferred official description of the invasion as a “special military operation”, both point to Ukraine as its likely destination.

A military court in the Chechen capital Grozny found Musayev guilty of evading military service on May 13, but only confirmation of the decision appeared in the Russian court database two weeks later.

The serviceman was sentenced to 10 days in jail instead of the 15 originally requested by prosecutors due to his young family and early guilty plea.

Musayev’s case comes amid reports of hundreds of Russian soldiers refusing take up arms or flee the country to escape the war in Ukraine.

Nearly 2,000 military and security personnel have sought legal assistance over their refusal to fight in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Because Russia has not officially declared war on Ukraine, Russian courts are left with limited legal grounds to punish soldiers who refuse to fight in Ukraine.

Rebellious soldiers were threatened with formal dismissals.


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