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Russia Opens First Criminal Draft-Dodging Case

Russian military service card. Sergei Kiselev / Moskva News Agency

The first criminal case for evading mobilization opened in the southern Russian city of Penza on Wednesday, human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov wrote on his Telegram channel. 

The case centers on a 32-year-old man who allegedly refused to sign a summons to the local conscript office and was subsequently detained by the OMON, a special police force commonly described as the riot police.

The man, who has now been in detention for two days, faces a fine of up to 200,000 rubles ($3,407) or up to two years in prison if convicted.

According to Chikov, the case was brought under a criminal law that applies only to citizens who evade standard military conscription rather than mobilization. 

The suspect’s lawyer has filed a petition for the termination of the criminal prosecution.

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