The Russian media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has blocked access to the Free Buryatia Foundation website, independent Russian media reported on Thursday. The foundation was established after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and it deals, among other things, with providing legal assistance to Russian soldiers who do not want to fight there. It recently reported that 150 Buryat soldiers have returned home refusing to participate in the fighting.
The Free Buryatia Foundation helps Russian soldiers, among other things, in resolving contracts with the Ministry of Defense, as well as in their return home. Foundation activists emphasize that “the Buryats are against the war.” As they write about themselves, they are “an anti-war movement against a criminal one war in Ukraine initiated by the Russian Federation under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. “
On July 9, the head of the foundation, Aleksandra Garmażapov, announced that until Russia 150 Buryat soldiers returned who refused to participate in the fighting in Ukraine. The activist emphasized that “it took the military a very long time to get home”. The foundation’s lawyer, Andrei Rinchino, said that the soldiers were held in a closed camp in the Luhansk Oblast and that they had been threatened with criminal cases.
Garmazarova also said that about 500 soldiers have already signed up for the foundation, wanting to terminate the contract with the Ministry of Defense in Moscow. – They are under constant pressure, they cannot return home from Ukraine – she added.
Blocked website of the foundation
On Thursday, independent Russian media reported that the website of the Free Buryatia foundation was blocked. The decision in this matter was made by the state office Roskomnadzor, which supervises the activities of the media.
The Foundation announced in a Twitter post that access to its website was restricted in the Russian Federation. She advised using a VPN to bypass the blockade.
The appeal of wives and mothers
At the end of June, independent Russian media published material about the wives of soldiers from the 46108 military unit stationed near Ulan-Ude, which recorded an appeal to the Buryat leader Alexei Cydenov. The women asked for help with their husbands returning home. They also asked for help from the Free Buryatia.
The Russian section of Radio Swoboda recalled that by mid-June, independent media in Russia had confirmed data on 184 Buryat soldiers who had died in Ukraine. “This republic ranks second among other regions of Russia in terms of the number of deaths. Officially, the defense ministry in Moscow does not comment on these figures,” the radio reported.
freeburyatia.org, Radio Swoboda, meduza.io
Main photo source: mil.ru