Yekaterinburg court sentences contracted soldier to three years in penal settlement for refusing to fight in Ukraine

A court in Russia’s Yekaterinburg has sentenced Marsel Kandarov, a serviceman, to three years in a penal settlement (a minimum security prison camp) for refusing to participate in the Ukraine war, OVD-Info reports.

Kandarov was sentenced to five years in prison in January for avoiding military service during mobilisation.

In an appeals court, the charges were eased to failing to appear at service, and the sentence was cut to three years, OVD-Info says.

Kandarov was serving under contract and participated in military exercise in February 2022, close to the Ukrainian border. Soon after 24 February he found himself on Ukrainian territory and headed to Russia for rehabilitation a month later. This is when he applied for resignation, stating he did not want to murder people, but his case was held off. The serviceman decided to go home and wait for his dismissal there. He was arrested in September 2022.

Mediazona’s estimates are that Russian courts received 1053 criminal cases on account of arbitrary abandonment of military units in the first four months of 2023. This is more cases than during the entire year of 2022 (1001).

Mediazona notes that most of the cases had to be considered by courts after legislation on “crimes against military service” had been tightened in Russia and after mobilisation had been declared in the country.

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