Over 100 Russian national guardsmen have been fired for refusing to fight in Ukraine , court documents show.
Earlier, Rosgvardia was described as Putin’s “private army,” but a large group of the national guards’ members were fired after they rejected orders to fight in Ukraine.
The court’s decision that was published on its website, the lawsuit was dismissed after the judge determined that the soldiers had been rightfully fired for “refusing to perform an official assignment” to fight in Ukraine and instead returned to a duty station.
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Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, its military has allegedly been plagued by poor morale, with reports of soldiers claiming they did not know they were trying to until they crossed into Ukraine.
This month, the Pentagon said it had seen “anecdotal reports” that “mid-grade officers at various levels, even up to the battalion level”, had “either refused to obey orders” or were not obeying them with the expected measure of “alacrity”.
Andrei Sabinin, the lawyer who represented the 115 soldiers, said the court’s decision was “unprecedentedly quick” given the complexity of the case.
Although Russians appear to be majorly supportive of Putin’s actions targeting their Eastern European neighbor, there have been signs of discontent and opposition since the outset of the full-scale invasion on February. During the early days of the war, thousands were arrested by Russian authorities across the country.
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Recently, a Russian media reported during a meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Russia’s Primorsky Krai in the far east of the country, a member of the nation’s Communist Party faction, Leonid Vasyukevich, appealed to Putin to stop the months-long war and to withdraw his troops from the Eastern European nation.
In 2016, Russia created Rosgvardia, a militarised force separate from the army to fight terrorism and maintain public order. Since its founding, members of Rosgvardia, which is often referred to as Vladimir Putin’s “private army”, have mostly been involved in crackdowns on peaceful anti-government protests.