Support The Moscow Times!

Military Court Sentences Russian Soldier for Desertion in Ukraine

Russian Defense Ministry

A member of the Russian Armed Forces was handed a one-year suspended sentence back in August for deserting his unit in Ukraine, a court in Pskov announced on Monday.

Professional soldier Mikhail Guryanov was found guilty by the court of abandoneding his unit on Apr. 6.  He was subsequently apprehended and detained by the Russian military in Pskov on May 25. 

Guryanov was reportedly deployed on Jan. 29, nearly a month before Russian forces invaded Ukraine. 

Independent Russian media outlets identified Guryanov as belonging to the Pskov-based paratrooper unit that occupied the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where Russian troops were subsequently accused of carrying out some of the worst atrocities in the war so far.  

While the maximum sentence for desertion is five years in prison, the judge handed Guryanov a lenient sentence in recognition of both his guilty plea and his military service in Ukraine.

Guryanov told the judge he abandoned his unit having "decided to take a break."

Shortly before President Vladimir Putin announced the "partial" mobilization of reserves in September, federal lawmakers passed legislation introducing jail terms of up to 10 years for desertion during mobilization or wartime.

Guryanov is at least the third Russian soldier known to have been sentenced for desertion in recent months.

… 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