Military prosecution in Russia’s Yaroslavl looking into draftee complaint. Commander threatened them with prosecution for desertion after following his order to retreat

Russia’s Yaroslavl military prosecution has launched a probe into a complaint filed by the draftees who earlier recorded a video address, ProGorod local portal reports citing the regional government.

“At the governor’s instruction, the regional government referred this question to the military prosecution, a probe is underway,” the portal was told.

The video address was sent to ProGorod by wives and mothers of the draftees on 18 January. The clip shows around 30 men.

“We ask to get to the bottom of this situation. The company commander ordered us to retreat from the positions since we were under tank and mortar shelling. Meanwhile, the commanders did not cover us or provide any assistance. We only had assault rifles, the other weapons were damaged. Now, they want to accuse us of desertion because the company commander says he did not give this order,” one of the draftees said.

He also noted that the men were initially told they would be in the territorial defence troops but “they were being fooled from the very draft office in the Yaroslavl region”.

“After arriving here, we were sent on assault missions and were put on the frontlines. There was no third or fourth line mentioned by the president. In the end, we ask you to investigate this and ask you to help us,” the man added.

Earlier, the draftee wives told the portal that they are preparing a series of addresses to the regional governor and federal officials. They are demanding that the mobilised men be brought back from hot spots and that technical provisions be improved.

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that can land people in prison for up to 10 years for voluntarily surrendering or refusing to fight.

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