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16 May 2023, 19:07

Rights defenders point to tougher penalties for those who refuse to go to SMO

Konstantin Trifonov, a contract military serviceman, sentenced to 25 days of arrest in Nalchik for refusing to go to the special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine, faces no other punishment, but the responsibility for those who now refuse to go to the SMO will be more severe. Under the fear of criminal prosecution, militaries are less likely to refuse to participate in hostilities, human rights defenders believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Trifonov referred to "his moral and psychological unpreparedness to perform combat missions."

Artyom Mugunyants, a lawyer for the "Anti-Draft" community, has suggested that Trifonov had refused to go to Ukraine before the changes in the law. "Now, criminal penalties are imposed for this ... we can state that he was lucky," the lawyer has stated.

According to Valentina Melnikova, the head of the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers, now, there are many cases in courts initiated against those who have refused to take part in the SMO in Ukraine.

"One volunteer signed a contract for three months; and at the end of the term he wanted to end his participation in hostilities. He was not allowed, but he went home anyway, saying that the contract was over. But in fact there is no order; and he is now jailed. There are cases when they try the wounded servicemen, who refuse to return to the SMO," she has added, noting that earlier such persons had been fired for disciplinary offenses, but now punishments have toughened.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 15, 2023 at 10:53 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Roman Kuzhev Source: СK correspondent

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