With minor advances by Russian forces in some areas and Ukrainian forces in others, the situation on the front line has almost completely stabilized over the past month. The number of imperial troops is now much smaller than at the beginning of the full-scale aggression, so their units are being transferred from the South to the Donbass and back. The main reason is the severe shortage of personnel in the invading army, despite the fantastic salary and bonuses by the standards of a depressed hinterland. Among the irregular mercenaries of PMC Wagner, there are more and more cases when job seekers are lured to protect civilian objects like oil or gas wells, and only getting to Ukraine understand what they were recruited for. The number of those who refuse to fight in Ukraine is already in the thousands, perhaps even in the tens of thousands. The military write mass reports about their anti-war beliefs and ask them to be fired. But the chiefs of the units are in no hurry to respond to such reports. In this ongoing relative silence of positional impasse, it's time to turn to some figures from different months.
Residents of Moscow, on average, die at the front 87.5 times less often than Dagestanis, 275 times less often than Buryats, and 350 times less often than Tuvans. Depressed national peripheries with high birth rate and high unemployment are the main sources of cannon fodder. However, the Buryats from the tank units, which were sent to the Kyiv region, and then transferred to Donbass, wrote at least 500 reports about refusing to serve. This is the largest number of reports and refusals to fight among all other subjects of the RF. Among the other leaders in terms of refusals, there are the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (about 500 reports) and South Ossetia (about 240 reports).
As it became known in mid-July, about 300 servicemen from the 136th Separate Guard Motor Rifle Brigade based in Buinaksk, a month after the start of the invasion, refused to continue participating in hostilities and left Ukraine without permission. Some of them began the procedure for terminating contracts by returning to Dagestan; some, after being treated in a hospital, under pressure from relatives and local authorities, returned to Ukraine. According to human rights activists, the militaries claimed that they had problems with uniforms and weapons, some soldiers returned to Dagestan with frostbitten limbs. In Buinaksk, the returnees were greeted as deserters. The local authorities held a meeting at which they condemned their act. At the moment of publication, the military prosecutor's office was conducting an inspection, since absence from the duty station for more than 10 days can lead to criminal liability.
July 9, in Buryatia landed a plane with 150 servicemen terminated the contract with the Ministry of Defense. "It took them a long time to get home, because after the sensational appeal of the wives from Buryatia, the soldiers, on the contrary, were detained for another 10 days in the war - the buses in which they were traveling were simply turned around", said Alexandra Garmazhapova, the president of the Free Buryatia Foundation. The wives asked to replace their husbands with other men and return them to their homeland. In fact, their husbands were already returning home, but at the time of the publication of the appeal they were turned around, some had to jump out of their bus on the move. This liberal anti-racist organization advocates a real federalization of Russia, was established during the spring of 2022; they help countrymen fighting in Ukraine to retire from the army, and run educational activities (for example, more than 3,000 stories about national chauvinism and discrimination were received by them as part of the campaign Russia Needs Denazification, they also keep records of the Buryats killed in the war). Among the Tuvans, for example, the New Tuva organization has already appeared, the founders of which were inspired by the Buryats example.
The mentioned approximately 500 fighters terminated the contract are only those who went through the Foundation, where they were provided with legal aid and were given step-by-step instructions for dismissal. "Also apply from other regions. Now there is a situation with Tuvan servicemen. Three weeks ago they wrote reports on the termination of service, but they were not accepted, and up to 20 people are now locked up in the commandant's office of one of the occupied regions in eastern Ukraine and are not being released. They are afraid that they will be sent to the front line without equipment, so that they die quietly there", added Alexandra on July 9.
Andrey Rinchino, a lawyer of this initiative, said at the same time that a group of 120 contract soldiers had recently gotten into a scuffle with the military police in the so-called "Lugansk People's Republic". They were all tied up and told that it was impossible to leave this territory without permission. For this, allegedly, criminal liability is provided. "The FSB works closely with them, as well as with their relatives. They interrogate. Mostly they threaten, but they can’t really do anything". To the question of our journalist if they know about the refuseres to fight in the Kharkov region, Andrey replied that in the interests of the safety of those who seek help, they don't ask for their exact location - the fact of being outside Russia is enough.
Such stamps are given to the Russian military who terminate contracts in order not to go to Ukraine
Callers for help to the Free Buryatia Foundation from the occupied territory talk about their forcible detention by commanders. “We recently had several servicemen who were held in Alchevsk. They wrote reports three weeks ago, the commander refused to accept them. about their dismissal, but they were detained by the military police, they were taken away in the opposite direction, kept in the basement. In general, they were used as labor force. They were simply afraid that they would be sent back to the front without equipment, where they would simply be quietly killed without weapons. They jumped out of the bus. And just yesterday, an intercepted audio conversation appeared on Facebook in the group of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, confirming our words. The serviceman there said the same thing, that they jumped out and that they were being deceived back to the front", told in an interview on July 14, the vice-president of this organization Victoria Maladayeva.
On July 11, 21-year-old Corporal Ilya Kaminsky, who has been serving in Ukraine as a contract soldier since the invasion began in the ranks of the 11th Separate Guards Airborne Assault Brigade from the capital of Buryatia, and dozens of other soldiers in Donbass signed a report refusing from hostilities. And the next day, all those who wrote a refusal to fight were divided into groups of 8-10 people and sent to the pre-trial detention center in the city of Lugansk. "People from the military investigation department came and forced us to write explanatory notes that we were ready to carry out tasks. Our reports were torn, they were not accepted, we wrote orders ... I will speak for myself, I wrote about 20 reports. None of them were considered. Morally tired. There is absolutely no trust in the authorities and the higher command, from the word "absolutely". Because they ignore everything. They ignore requests. They began to stir, put forward some requests, when people specifically said "no". They have already begun to offer different proposals. I'm tired. Want to home. My daughter was born. Three months ago. I still haven't seen her. The first report I wrote at the end of April, it was not considered, it was not signed, ignored. Then I started writing refusal reports in May, because they were fed with promises for a long time". Then, the servicemen said that 78 people from this brigade were determined to quit and leave the territory of Ukraine, but after closing in the garage and pressure from the command, about 50 of them changed their minds about leaving. According to them, since the beginning of the war, the brigade has lost about half of its personnel.
Later, the Foundation published the evidence about 234 Russian refusers forcibly held in basements and other enclosed spaces in Bryanka of the so-called "LPR" demanding to return to the front. “When the guys were brought to Bryanka, we called the unit, the company commander, the base commander. I asked what they were going to do, why they weren’t taking them away. I was told that there was a new center for refusers. They are having conversations. As they said, they would not be kept there for more than two weeks: if they were not persuaded to continue their service, they would be transferred to the base in the unit and the contract would be terminated there. But this did not happen", said the mother of another prisoner Fatima Gorshenina. Bryanka is located 13 km from the mentioned Alchevsk. The transfer of detained refusers there became known on July 21.
Also in mid-July, Radio Liberty, with the help of Ukrainian intelligence agencies, published an audio recording of a meeting between Colonel Oleg Korotkevich and the families of servicemen of the 35th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade from Aleysk (the Altaisky Krai). From his words, as of June, 261 people in this brigade refused to fight in Ukraine, and all refusers will be placed on the "board of shame" in the town. In the same middle of last month, such a board with a list of more than 300 refusers from the 205th Separate Motor Rifle Cossack Brigade was put up in the military unit of Budyonnovsk. “I thought for a long time, weighed all the consequences of the decision and realized that I still need to give up (from the army) and continue to live. Now I have arranged my life and I don’t regret it at all! I definitely didn’t want to kill, and I didn’t could. I just imagined a situation where I would have to take a life from a person, and I understand that I could not do it. People did nothing wrong to me. Secondly, I had fears for my life. is also a very important factor. It's morally difficult. Plus, I have relatives, friends", anonymously shared one of the dismissed from the service.
Former fighters of the 205th brigade say that they left without hindrance: the command didn't put pressure on them and didn't intimidate them with criminal cases. But that was earlier, in the first months of the war. Now, obviously, the Russian army is having difficulties with the personnel reserve. This shows what is happening in the 11th Airborne Assault Brigade from Ulan-Ude and other units.
In the southern theater of hostilities, instead of rotation, Russian soldiers are being sent to the Henichesk district of Kherson region. They are placed at the bases of the Arabat Spit sandbar, where they are allowed to rest for several weeks, and are sent into battle again. The command fears they will flee if they are allowed to visit Crimea, local residents say. Russian human rights lawyer Alexei Tabalov claims that in the Kherson region there are some "pits" for refusers, similar to the concentration camp in Bryanka. "This is happening throughout the occupied territory, where Russian troops are located. And from the appeals that come to us, from the frequency of appeals to our organizations, in particular partner organizations, one gets the impression that everyone is ready to run away from the battlefield. And, probably, recognizing this fact, this is a big problem for the Ministry of Defense. And now they are already moving from intimidation at the beginning of the "special operation" to such serious actions as kidnapping, taking them to some pits, premises and keeping their own servicemen as prisoners of war". He has a number of successful cases to help the military personnel with termination of their contracts.
According to the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, authorities of the peninsula initiated at least 148 cases on sabotage of Z-cars, 21 of which are in Sevastopol. In one of the cases, a resident of Sevastopol was fined 30,000 rubles for damaging the rear windshield of a Russian Guard's vehicle with the Z-inscription. But these are only the facts on which the statements were made. They are sure that there are many who did not complain.
Responsibility for the arson in Gulkevichi was taken by the All-People's Movement of the Legion "Freedom of Russia". "A poster with a bloody lie "We don't leave our own." News from the front tells a different story. Let's not let the Putin regime hang noodles on the ears of the Russians. No propaganda!" The cops ordered an inspection, the building was not damaged. You can watch a little video of the attack.
On the night of July 13, an unknown one threw two Molotov cocktails at the military commissariat on Frunze str. in the town of Mozhaisk near Moscow. There was no fire, but the attacker was not detained either. Around 4 am on July 15, аn unidentified person placed tires doused with gasoline under the door of the cop station in Vladivostok and burned it. Two cops inside were busy with paperwork, so at first they did not notice anything and did not react in any way. Then, they escaped, but the doors, the entrance and the corridor were damaged by the arson (negative moment: the object was located on the first floor of a residential house, residents of the first and second floors were evacuated). It took two hours to extinguish the station, or rather what was left of it. On the same street, a car was burned too. Whether it was a Z-car and whether there is a connection between these incidents is not yet clear. In addition, as we already informed, in early June in Vladivostok took place an arson of the military enlistment center.
The cops miraculously managed to jump out of the burning premises through the window
A small but very glad offtopic: Moscow court released a communist Ruslan Abasov and an anarchist Lev Skoryakin from the pre-trial detention center with a number of restrictions in acts. The guys cannot use means of communication, leave the settlement without the permission of the investigator, and communicate with other defendants in the case. As we wrote earlier, they were arrested last December for a peaceful rally against political repressions near the FSB headquarters. They are accused of hooliganism based on political hatred and enmity (part 2 of Art. 213 of the Criminal Code of the RF), because they allegedly unfolded a banner, lit the smoke bombs, and then threw them over the fence of the building. It should be noted that the video surveillance footage does not show that they attacked the FSB with smoke bombs, and the case is based entirely on the testimony of the minor Umar B. From the materials of the case, only Ruslan and Umar were the perpetrators of the action, Lev was at home at that time, and the investigation has no evidence that Lev was the organizer, except for the words of a 16-year-old teenager forced to testify against friends. Then this main witness disappeared - his whereabouts are still unknown - and the guys were sent to jail. During the time spent in the dungeons, Ruslan suffered from purulent meningitis and almost died, he was lying in intensive care in handcuffs, but endured all difficulties with perseverance and optimism. Luckily, he is now recovering little by little.
On the other side of the front line, on the government-controlled Ukrainian territories, prison revolts disappeared for several years returned again. On July 25, at 2 am, the cops received a message that in the Politska Correctional Colony of the Rivne region, convicts had staged a riot and were destroying property. They barricaded themselves in the residential area of the facility and did not allow the staff, broke windows and damaged furniture in the residential barracks, set fire to the quarantine room and the dining room. According to the main regional police department, the initiators were convicts evacuated from the Zaporozhye region. It is known that 75 prisoners rebelled. The alarm raised 100 employees of the prison and 40 policemen. The rebellion was crushed. Officially, there were no casualties.
A profitable business has been operating in the colony for years: workshops and manufactories where gates, fences, various metal structures, containers, and even bus stops are produced. They also specialize in natural stone products, for example, they make paving stones; and a sewing shop. The war did not stop production. The convicts complained about slave working conditions: they sewed from 08:00 to 00:30. During the shift, it was necessary to chop 80 kg of stone. Those who did not fulfill the norm, and this is the majority of workers, earn a mere pittance.
Finally, with the closure of borders to leave for the male population and the massive influx of workers who have lost their jobs or just cannot pay off, some processes of decay are observed in the Armed Forces of Ukraine too. Not a representative, but indicative description was given by a well-known figure in the volunteer movement Valery Markus: "Under such a recruitment system, the level of quality of the mobilized is so low that they cause more problems at the front than benefits. I have not yet heard from any sergeant or officer about satisfaction with a large number of unmotivated and low-quality fighters. No more than 10-15% of the entire mass, which military commissars throw at the army, are conscious. Everything else is an unmotivated crowd that only creates additional problems and takes valuable resources of time and effort. I say this as a commander. In addition, at the moment there is no procedure for the dismissal of servicemen for disgraceful behavior. That is, there are rare cases when the commander receives at his disposal an outright useless person who sabotages the execution of orders and is capable of turning into a deserter at any moment, leaving positions and substituting other units. Unfortunately, I had to face similar situations personally, and it cost the lives of my friends. As an example, I will add that at this stage of the war, I already had two incidents, when in the Donetsk region, two mobilized alco-bodies thought of threatening me with a weapon. The first is a mobilized soldier, and the second is a mobilized CAPTAIN. And a month ago, I had to tear off a sergeant's epaulet from a drunk horseradish, whose swollen face shows that he is systemically sour. There, even without a medical commission, you can see that the person is an alcoholic, but the military commissariat decided, apparently, that a face of this appearance is worthy of representing the Armed Forces and is suitable for combat missions. Implementation of the mobilization process in this way lays a bomb in our foundation that can explode at the most critical moment. If the approach does not change, the problems will only multiply", he noted in his Facebook post from July 15.
Along with this, you may be interested in such article about how the 1917-1918 decomposition of the Russian army and navy looked in Ukraine, and the role of anarchists in the revolutionary transformations.
And we also recommend you to watch this material on how large Ukrainian companies profit from robbing the inhabitants of the besieged metropolis.
Against any militarism, long live social struggle! Everywhere!