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Russian Deserter Taken to Russia After Detention in Armenia – Activists

Dmitry Setrakov. t.me/iditelesom_help

A Russian soldier who was detained by Russian troops in Armenia on desertion charges last week has been forcibly returned to his home country, a project that helps Russians avoid military service in Ukraine said Tuesday.

“We have learned that Dmitry Setrakov is now in [the Russian city of] Rostov-on-Don at the address Budennovsky 66. The regional military police directorate for the Southern Military District is located there,” the Idite Lesom (“Get Lost”) project wrote on its Telegram channel.

Setrakov, 39, fled Russia on Nov. 30 with the help of Idite Lesom after he refused to fight in the war.

In Armenia, Setrakov was held at a Russian military base in the northern Armenian city of Gyumri after being apprehended on Dec. 6-7, said the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, an Armenian rights organization.

“He was mobilized and didn’t want to fight so we helped him leave the country,” Idite Lesom head Grigory Sverdlin told The Moscow Times last week.

He faces five to 10 years in prison if convicted of leaving his military unit during Russia’s mobilization period.

“The Russian military kidnapped a person in a sovereign state and has now taken him back to the Russian Federation,” Idite Lesom said Tuesday.

The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor has said that Russian authorities violated Armenia’s sovereign power to restrict a person’s liberty on its territory by detaining Setrakov.

Tens of thousands of military-age Russian men fled from Russia to Armenia following the Kremlin's September 2022 mobilization for the war in Ukraine.

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