A Russian court has jailed a Chechen soldier for refusing deployment amid growing reports of military personnel refusing to fight in Ukraine.
The court ruling did not specify whether contract soldier Ali Musayev defied orders to fight in Ukraine, only saying that he refused to take part 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 his likely destination.
A military court in the Chechen capital Grozny found Musayev guilty of evading military service May 13, but confirmation of the decision only appeared in Russia’s court database two weeks later.
The soldier was sentenced to 10 days in prison instead of the 15 initially requested by prosecutors due to his young family and early guilty plea.
Musayev’s case comes amid reports of hundreds of Russian soldiers refusing to take up arms or fleeing the country to evade the war in Ukraine.
Nearly 2,000 servicemen and security officers have reached out for legal assistance over their refusals to fight in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
Because Russia has not formally declared war on Ukraine, Russian courts are left with limited legal grounds to punish soldiers who refuse to fight in Ukraine.
Insubordinate soldiers have been threatened with formal dismissals.