Several Russian soldiers were arrested for refusing to fight

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Many Russian soldiers have been detained in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region for refusing to fight in Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, according to their lawyer.

Several Russian soldiers were arrested for refusing to fight  - The Freedom News

According to Andrei Rinchino, legal director of the Free Buryatia Foundation, 17 servicemen who entered into short-term contracts with Russia’s defense ministry were imprisoned after refusing to continue participating in the war and attempting to terminate their contracts.

On its website, the foundation describes itself as “an anti-war movement against the Russian Federation’s criminal war in Ukraine, launched by Vladimir Putin.”

As the lawyer said, one of the soldiers stated that they tried to terminate their contracts about three weeks ago because they no longer wanted to fight in Putin’s war. Some of them, according to Rinchino, were then returned to Russia, while others were told to wait.

However, the servicemen who had been ordered to wait were reportedly sent back to the front lines in Luhansk a week later.

On Sunday, Moscow declared military victory after seizing the Luhansk region, which, along with the Donetsk region, forms the Donbas.

The soldiers’ car broke down on their way to the front line, according to Rinchino, and they were left on the side of the road. They were reportedly met by troops from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, who fed them and allowed them to hide in a basement.

“But our brigade did not arrive, so we decided to return to Russia,” one serviceman explained.

According to Rinchino, the group decided to take a bus to Moscow, where they were detained by military police.

The soldiers’ passports and military cards were confiscated and they were taken to the city of Alchevsk in Luhansk, where they were imprisoned.

Rinchino stated that some of those detained had contracts that had expired.

“They take advantage of the fighters’ illiteracy,” the lawyer explained. “To begin, they claim that your contract will be automatically renewed. Second, you are told that you will begin a new contract, that everything is legal, and that this is how it should be.”

“Nobody understands the law,” he said.

One of the soldiers detained partially lost his hearing after being caught in a grenade blast, but he is still not allowed to return home, Rinchino said.

According to the lawyer, Russian commanders have refused to explain why the soldiers are being held by force.

Today, one of them inquired as to why they were kept here,” Rinchino explained. “He was immediately locked up.”

In March, just weeks into Putin’s war, a viral video surfaced, purportedly showing angry Russian soldiers complaining about being ill-equipped and ordered to go into a region of Ukraine with no clear planning from Moscow.

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