Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Prosecutes 12 Officers Over Conscript Deployments to Ukraine

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

A dozen Russian officers have been prosecuted for sending hundreds of young conscript soldiers to fight in Ukraine, a military prosecutor announced Tuesday.

“Around 600 conscripts were involved in the special military operation, all of whom were returned as soon as possible," military prosecutor Artur Yegiev of Russia’s Western Military District said at a Federation Council meeting.

Around “12 [army] officers” have been prosecuted in connection with the conscripts' deployment, Interfax quoted him as saying.

Yegiev said disciplinary measures have been taken against those found guilty of violations.

He did not specify the disciplinary measures taken, only saying that some of the officers were dismissed from service.

The use of conscripts on the battlefield has been a controversial topic since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. 

As Russia increasingly grapples with manpower shortages, the Kremlin has been wary of risking public backlash by calling up conscripts to fight, analysts say.

President Vladimir Putin said on March 8 that conscripts “do not and will not participate in hostilities” in Ukraine and that only professional soldiers would be deployed.  

But Moscow was forced to quickly backtrack on that pledge, with Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov admitting the next day there were “several instances” of conscripts fighting in Ukraine. 

Ukrainian media has consistently reported evidence of conscripts being captured as well as killed in Ukraine. 

In his comments Tuesday, military prosecutor Yegiev did not mention any instances of conscripts being captured or killed in Ukraine.

According to Russian law, conscripts are legally allowed to be deployed abroad after four months of military service.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more