Russia, Ukraine | Big increase in Russian conscientious objectors: – They flood

Russia, Ukraine |  Big increase in Russian conscientious objectors: – They flood

Between 10,000 and 50,000 Russian soldiers may have left. This was reported by a source cited in an email exchange between the Directorate of Immigration and Landinfo, to which Netavicen has been granted access.

Landinfo is a Norwegian government agency that reports on the human rights situation in countries receiving Norwegian asylum seekers. They “have good knowledge of the matter with a reliable source in Russia”.

– Vibeke Kolderup, land consultant at Landinfo, says the source wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons.

In 2023, Russian military courts received more than 5,000 criminal cases for violations of the dissociation clause of the criminal code, according to statistics from the Free Russia website. Media zoneBut according to Landinfo's source, the actual number of people who actually deserted is two to ten times higher.

– Evidence suggests that military courts are overwhelmed with such cases, writes Golderup.

In 2021 and 2022, the figures are 615 and 1,000 abandoned cases, respectively, figures Media zone.

Those who are seriously wounded are sent back to battle

In the email to UDI, Landinfo was also mentioned Go through the forestA Russian underground program to help Russians who did not want to participate in the war.

– We teach runaways to be weaklings, traitors, and second-class citizens. We do not agree on that. Today we live in a world where the Russian military creates only death and destruction. The easiest way to help your country is to write recently to the people behind this project Upgrade.

As of early February, the project reports that it has helped more than 22,000 people, and they've noticed an increase from people wanting to leave the frontline in the fall of 2023.

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Human rights activists in Russia believe that this increase is related to the fact that a year has passed since the mobilization began.

– If someone believed that he would be able to go home after a certain period, now there are no such illusions, said Sergei Krivenko, head of the human rights organization “Grazhdanin. Army. Bravo” (translation: “Citizen. Army. Law and Justice”) to the independent newspaper The Moscow Times In December.

– Soldiers see that there is no rotation, and even the seriously wounded are sent back to the front after being in the hospital, Krivenko added.

Go through the forest Among other things, there are reports of a soldier who lost an eye in battle but was sent back to the trenches.

A new record in January

While Russia has made little progress on the battlefield since December, such as their recent capture of Avdizhivka, Go by the Forest reported that 284 soldiers had contacted the underground program for the desert in January 2024.

Here's Russia's progress since December:

Compared to January 2023, there were 284 escapees in one month, a 914 percent increase:

– Why are they contacting us? They have seen enough atrocities in war, they have seen how people are treated as consumables and cannon fodder. They understand that they are not fighting “fascists”, but the Russian organization writes that what they say on TV is a lie its pages.

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– Soldiers are writing to us now because they don't know us, don't know who to contact, or have a chance to contact someone to get out of the war. Wives, relatives and friends of the mobilized also write to us. Join us and find a safe place for runaways, says Go by the Forest.

Illegal methods of punishment

Many fugitives do not end up in the legal system. Landinfo's source says that some deserters from a duty station are forced to return to the unit in exchange for the case being dropped.

– According to evidence, Golderup says many military commanders do not report deserters, but instead implement illegal penal systems and prisons on the front lines.

According to Landinfo's source, there is no official information on how many people have left.

– Russian authorities systematically withhold information about the Russian armed forces, especially information that could negatively affect public attitudes toward the war. Golderup says that the statistics and figures are only those convicted of desertion during mobilization.

Secret Ministry

A year ago, there was a political debate about the extent to which Russian conscientious objectors should be granted asylum in Norway. Among the parties that supported this was Red.

Also Read: 365 Russians Apply For Asylum In Norway In 2022

In an email exchange between the Immigration Directorate and Landinfo, it appears that the Directorate has received “questions from the Ministry” regarding “military denials from Russia”. When Netavisen asked if the Ministry of Justice and Emergency Preparedness was considering offering asylum to Russian refugees in Norway, communications advisor Andreas Björklund replied:

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– By the end of November 2023, the UDI submitted plans for the procedure for applications for protection from Russian citizens. The Ministry of Justice and Emergency Preparedness has asked for more information about the situation in Russia and the practices of other countries before the ministry can make a more detailed assessment. Currently we cannot say anything about the content of the internship program.

– Can you confirm or deny whether the government is considering regulations or procedures for the protection of Russian conscientious objectors?

– The Ministry has received a procedural submission under Article 29 of the Immigration Act, second paragraph, letter e-Russian citizens refusing military service in the conflict in Ukraine, Bjørklund replies.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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