Sergei begged his son to stay home when he was ordered to fight in Ukraine.
You have family members there. Just refuse,” Sergei reportedly told Stas, an army general by that point. But he claimed to be leaving. He thought he was right. I informed him of his undead status. And that, regrettably, life would bear it out.
These two are a father and son, but their real names are Sergei and Stas. To preserve their privacy, we modified them. We’ve been invited to Sergei’s house so he may tell us their tale.
“And so he left for Ukraine. Then he began sending me texts inquiring as to what would occur if he chose not to engage in combat.
Stas related one specific battle to his father.
He claimed that there was no cover, no gathering of intelligence, and no planning for the [Russian] men. Although they had been told to move on, nobody knew what was in store.
But he had a hard time choosing not to engage in combat. Better to accept it, I advised him. This war is not ours. It’s not a liberation war. He promised to make his denial in writing. He and a few others who had made the decision to object had their guns taken away, and they were placed under armed protection.
In an effort to obtain his son’s release, Sergei made numerous journeys to the front lines. He repeatedly begged for assistance from investigators, prosecutors, and military officials.
His efforts eventually yielded results. He returned Stas to Russia. He told his father what had transpired while he was being held captive, including how a “other set” of Russian soldiers had attempted to make him fight.
They took him outside as if they were going to shoot him after beating him. He was compelled to lie on the ground while being instructed to count to ten. He declined. So they used a pistol to repeatedly hit him over the head. He claimed to have blood all over his face.
Then they led him into a room and threatened to murder him if he didn’t accompany them. However, someone then claimed they would bring my son to work in the warehouse.
When Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Stas was a serving officer. Only professionals would participate in President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation,” he assured.
But everything changed by September. In what he described as a “partial mobilization,” the president enlisted tens of thousands of Russian citizens in the armed forces.
Many of the recently mobilized troops were eager to voice their displeasure at being pushed into a conflict zone without the proper supplies or training. There have been numerous reports from Ukraine claiming that Russian troops who had been mobilized had been held and, in some cases, imprisoned in cellars and basements for refusing to go back to the front lines.
“It’s a way of making people go back into that bloodbath,” says Elena Popova from Russia’s Movement of Conscientious Objectors. “The commanders’ aim is to keep the soldiers down there. The commanders know only violence and intimidation. But you cannot force people to fight.” For some Russians, refusing to return to the front line may be a moral stand. But there’s a more common explanation. “Those refusing to fight are doing so because they’ve had more than their fair share of front line action,” explains Elena Popova. “Another reason is the foul way they’re being treated.
They’ve spent time in the trenches, getting cold and hungry, but when they come back they just get shouted and sworn at by their commanders.” The Russian authorities dismiss reports of disillusioned soldiers and detention centres as fake news. “We do not have any camps or incarceration facilities, or the like [for Russian soldiers],” President Putin insisted earlier this month. “This is all nonsense and fake claims and there is nothing to back them up with.”
The Kremlin chief stated, “We do not have any issues with personnel fleeing battle situations. “All normal people cannot help but react to a situation when shelling or bombs are dropping, even on a physiological basis. But after a time of acclimatization, our soldiers battle beautifully.
Russian lieutenant Andrei gave up the fight. Andrei, who was deployed to Ukraine in July, was imprisoned for defying orders. He was able to get in touch with his mother Oxana in Russia and inform her of the situation. We have modified their names once more.
Oxana tells me, “He informed me he had refused to take his soldiers to a certain death.” “As an officer, he saw that they wouldn’t escape alive if they continued. My son was taken to a detention facility as a result. After thereafter, I received a text message informing me that he and four other cops had been imprisoned in a basement. Five months have passed since we last saw them.
Later, I learned that all five of the men were missing and that the building they were in had been shelled. Nothing had been discovered, they claimed. They are now listed as being MIA. It is not logical. It’s ridiculous. Not only was the treatment of my kid illegal, but it was also inhumane.
Sergei informs me that what happened to Stas in Ukraine has strengthened their bond. We are back in his living room.
Sergei assures me, “We’re on the same page now. “The miscommunication barrier between us is no longer there. His bluster has all been lost. I never imagined my own country would treat me this way, my kid said to me. He has fully transformed. Now he understands.
“People here don’t realize the kind of danger we face. not from the adversary. nonetheless, on our own side.