115 Russian soldiers expelled from the National Guard for refusing to fight in Ukraine | Russia

More than 100 Russian National Guardsmen have been dismissed for refusing to fight at home UkraineCourt documents appear, in what appears to be the clearest indication yet of opposition among some parts of the security forces over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The cases of 115 members of the National Guard, a force also known as Rosgvardia, were revealed on Wednesday, after a Russian local court dismissed their class-action lawsuit challenging their earlier dismissals.

according to Court decisionPosted on its website, the lawsuit was dismissed after a judge ruled that the soldiers had been properly dismissed for “refusing to perform an official mission” to fight in Ukraine and instead returned to a duty station.

The appeal was lodged in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic in the Russian Caucasus, where the unit is stationed.

Since Moscow’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, its army has reportedly been in low morale, with reports coming in of soldiers claiming to have done so. They don’t know they’re going to war They even crossed into Ukraine.

The US Department of Defense said this month that it had seen “anecdotal reports” that “middle-ranking officers at various levels, up to the battalion level,” “either refused to obey orders” or did not comply with the expected measure of “kindness.”

Andrei Sabinin, a lawyer who represented the 115 soldiers, said the court’s decision was “unprecedentedly swift” given the complexity of the case.

“I express my doubts about the fairness of the process as a whole because my clients were denied the ability to call certain witnesses and the court rejected several documents.”

According to Sabinin, the commanders of the Rosgvardia unit offered the soldiers the option not to fight and their dismissal was illegal.

Russia created Rosgvardia, a military force separate from the army, in 2016 to fight terrorism and maintain public order. Since its inception, members of Rosjavardia, often referred to as Vladimir Putin’s “private army”, have engaged in crackdowns on peaceful anti-government protests.

Military analysts have linked Russia’s extensive use of Rosjavardia’s soldiers in Ukraine to Moscow’s strategic goals of capturing and controlling major Ukrainian cities, including Kharkiv and the capital, Kyiv. These plans failed, while Rosgvardia units suffered heavy losses after Ukrainian cities remained battlefields rather than captured by Russia, leaving Rosgvardia units vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks.

Documents obtained by the Guardian on Friday from a separate criminal case against a Siberian journalist reveal Rosgvardia’s role in Ukraine.

Security forces arrested Mikhail Afanasyev, editor-in-chief of Novy Fokus in Russia’s Khakassia region, last month over a website posting about a separate Rosgvardia unit that also refused to deploy in Ukraine.

Court testimonies given by members of the Rosgvardia unit mentioned in the Afanasyev Report confirm previous reports that 11 Rosgvardia from Khakassia refused to fight.

The testimonies also give weight to suggestions that the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine was initially a lightning attack on Kyiv with the aim of capturing the capital.

In one of the testimonies, one of the soldiers of Roskvardia told the court that his commander ordered his unit three days before the invasion to send them to Ukraine “to patrol the streets and intersections of Kyiv”.

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The commander explained that all members of the National Guard and the Russian Armed Forces were assigned specific tasks during the special operation in Ukraine. And the testimony seen by the Guardian said that the task of our detachment and all the other detachments that were stationed with us was to guard the streets and intersections of Kyiv.

The Content of court documents It was first reported by the independent regional outlet Tayga.info.

A month into the war, Moscow was forced to divert its offensive to limited targets after encountering fierce Ukrainian resistance, with the army prioritizing what it calls the “liberation” of the Donbass region.

But despite a string of recent military successes in the Donbass, this week the Kremlin faced two rare incidents of public opposition from Russian officials.

On Wednesday, Boris Bondarev, the designated career diplomat at the Russian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, became the A high-ranking Russian diplomat to denounce the warHe published a scathing letter in which he wrote that he was “ashamed” of his country and described the invasion as a “disaster”. On Friday, two communist deputies from Khabarovsky Krai in Far East Siberia urged Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine.

“If our country does not stop the military operation, then there will be more orphans in our country,” said MP Leonid Vasikivich, according to a video clip of the meeting.

“During a military operation, people become disabled. These are the young people who can be of great benefit to our country.” We demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces.

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