A soldier from Buryatia Ilya Kaminski, after writing a report that he did not want to fight in Ukraine, could have been sent to a detention center in Lugansk, the Russian section of Radio Svoboda reported. His mother’s appeal was published by the head of the Free Buryatia foundation, which helps Russian soldiers who want to return home from Ukraine.
Ilya Kaminski’s mother told activists from Free Buryatia that her son had been in Ukraine, where he fights in the composition of the 11th Guards Independent Assault and Assault Brigade. She also said that on April 28 he wrote a report on dismissal due to family circumstances because he had a child. Then, she said, he wrote a few more reports. In the last one, on July 11, he refused to participate in the hostilities. Commanders did not attach importance to these reports.
The head of the Free Buryatia Foundation, Aleksandra Garmażapowa, informed about the mother’s appeal on Instagram. The woman told her that there are more soldiers who do not want to fight in Ukraine. As he claims, they were divided into groups (8-10 people each) and sent to arrest in Lugansk controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Their phones have been taken from them, so she does not know where her son is now and where he will be sent.
On July 9, Garmażapowa announced that to Russia 150 Buryat soldiers who refused to participate in the fighting in Ukraine returned. The activist emphasized that “it took the military a very long time to get home”. The lawyer of the foundation, Andrei Rinchino, said that the soldiers were held in a closed camp in the Luhansk region and were threatened with criminal cases.
A few days later, independent Russian media reported that the Russian media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, blocked access to the website of the Free Buryatia foundationwhich was created after Russia’s attack on Ukraine and deals, among other things, with providing legal assistance to Russian soldiers who do not want to fight against Ukrainian forces.
Leading in terms of losses
The Russian section of Radio Svoboda recalled that Buryatia is at the forefront of Russian regions in terms of the number of deaths among soldiers sent to war with Ukraine. According to data confirmed by activists, at least 159 military men from this republic died in the war recently, which – as independent journalists indicate – does not reflect the actual losses.
Earlier, the independent portal Mediazona wrote that in the fighting in Ukraine soldiers from poorer regions of Russia are most often killed, such as Dagestan and Buryatia. “In Buryatia, they bury the dead almost every day. A large number of military units in this region, low wages and unemployment make the army attractive to local young men” – Mediazona reported.
The Afghan question
According to Ukrainian military experts, the high losses among the Buryats and Dagestans are caused by the territorial location of the military units of the types of troops that Russia uses in its war with Ukraine.
– At the beginning of the invasion, the strike group was created from those units located in the Far East, outside the Urals, in Buryatia and Tuva, therefore their level of losses is many times higher – Mykhailo Zhyrokhov told journalists, they have a good job and development prospects, they will not sign a contract with the army.
Another military expert, Mykhailo Samus, is convinced that the cause of the mass casualties among Buryats and Dagestans is the Soviet rule of sending people from the provinces to war and “saving” major cities. According to him, it was done in order not to provoke a protest mood. – This is a Soviet tradition. For example, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan there was an order to enlist people from provinces and poor regions, villages and factory districts, but in no case from Kiev, Leningrad or Moscow. The protest mood and dissatisfaction in the USSR have always been considered an inappropriate and undesirable development of the situation. Putin is doing the same – added Samus.
Radio Swoboda, UNIAN, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: Sergei Karpukhin / TASSPAP / EPA