NewsRussian man dies in custody after refusing military draft for Ukraine war

Russian man dies in custody after refusing military draft for Ukraine war

Russians refuse to serve in the army, and the courts are merciless to them.
Russians refuse to serve in the army, and the courts are merciless to them.
Images source: © Getty Images | Sean Gallup

6:49 AM EST, November 26, 2023

Igor Akurienko, a 53-year-old man, refused to join the Russian army and fight in Ukraine on behalf of Vladimir Putin. Consequently, he was imprisoned and spent several months behind bars. However, he did not live to see his trial, dying under strange circumstances just before the verdict was announced. Independent media in Russia are sounding the alarm, revealing that this may be one of thousands of similar cases.

Four thousand individuals were reportedly arrested in Russia for refusing to be drafted into the military and sent to fight in Ukraine. An independent investigative platform, Mediazona, shed light on the case of Igor Akurienko who, in March, rejected to serve in Putin's army. He was immediately arrested but, unfortunately, passed away before his trial was concluded. His death occurred this past summer.

The peculiarity of this case lies in the prolonged detention period of several months. When Akurienko's case was brought to court, he mysteriously passed away. Subsequently, on August 11th, the court dismissed his case, and news about the ordinary citizen faded away. Mediazona has indicated that this is not an isolated incident, with similar cases scattered throughout Russia.

Authorities have shown no mercy towards individuals declining to participate in the gruesome war.

The Russian Ministry of Defense is in dire need of soldiers, leading to widespread enlistment, extending to those considered, in the eyes of the officials, capable of fighting. Nonetheless, not everyone is willing to die for Putin on the frontline. Some people fail to see the rationale of the war in Ukraine, while others prioritize their lives and health over the interests of the government.

Mediazona, an independent investigative platform that has been tracking and identifying Russian war casualties since the beginning of the conflict, has discovered that since the start of the war in Ukraine, more than four thousand cases have been registered against individuals refusing to be drafted. The authorities have been dealing with these cases strictly.

Those who refuse to fight for Putin's Russia may face imprisonment, potentially for up to five years. The conditions of imprisonment are such that inmates often seek early release. But how can they procure it? By volunteering to serve in the military and marching towards the front.

The situation in Russia is critical, with virtually anyone capable of wielding a rifle being drafted into the army, prepared swiftly and superficially to survive on the frontline. These hastily trained soldiers, or "mobiks" as they're commonly referred to, are often sent into battle after just two weeks of training.

Consequently, these soldiers are easy targets for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and are frequently used to conduct so-called "meat attacks." Russian commanders, reminiscent of World War II generals, continually send these "mobiks" off to their deaths. This was the case a year ago in Bachmut, and it remains the same in present-day Avdiivka, a city that the Russians are desperate to seize.

The outcome of this strategy is that thousands of Russians have died since the war started, with a casualty rate of an estimated 323,760 people. It's therefore not surprising that few individuals are stepping up to join the military, undeterred by the high salary, cars, or refrigerators offered to the families of volunteers by the army.

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