Two Russian soldiers sentenced to prison for refusing to fight in Ukraine

Two soldiers, Yuri Degtyarev and Aleksey Selivanov, were detained in Belgorod after refusing to follow orders with their military unit.

Images of two soldiers being detained by wearing handcuffs in reverse in front of other soldiers were shared thousands of times on social media.

It was stated that Degtyarev and Selivanov were determined to be suitable for military service after the decision of partial mobilization and they were recruited, but they did not fulfill the order of their commander to take up arms and bullets in November. The military prosecutor’s office claimed that the two soldiers first verbally refused the order and then filled out a report.

The soldiers said that after the operation order, their commander asked if there were any soldiers who did not want to join the mission.

After the court-martial investigation, it was concluded that Degtyarev and Selivanov harmed the interests of the army, violated military discipline and authority, and increased the workload of other military personnel. Two soldiers on trial for disobeying orders were sentenced to three years in prison each.

It was stated that the appeal of one of the soldiers was also rejected by the court.

They wanted to admit their guilt and return to active duty.

While both soldiers admitted their crimes in court, they stated that they were ready to return to active duty and asked for a commutation of sentences, but this request was rejected by the court.

Degtyarev’s wife, Tatyana Degtyareva, claimed that her husband was sent to Luhansk in September without any military training, and that his unit was later withdrawn.

Degtyareva said her husband “doesn’t want to be used as bait”.

Military courts in Russia have delivered convictions in more than half of 708 cases of conscripts.

Before the partial mobilization decision, the Russian Parliament had adopted a regulation that increased the penalty for desertion and refusal to serve in the military up to 15 years.

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