March 23, 2023


 Several Russian soldiers are seeking legal assistance to avoid being sent to the conflict in Ukraine. Two lawyers stated that this is after 12 members from Russia’s National Guard were fired because they refused to leave.

Mikhail Benyash, a lawyer, said that around 200 people were in touch to discuss what they should do in similar situations.

Pavel Chikov, another Russian lawyer, stated on Telegram that there were analogous stories from Crimea and Novgorod. Omsk, Stavropol… Workers are asking for legal assistance.

The press was unable to confirm that there was a rush for legal assistance. An email request for comment was not answered by the National Guard.

According to Western officials and Ukraine, Russia’s forces suffer from low morale during Moscow’s special operation to “denazify” and disarm its neighbour. It was a poor execution, imperial-style land grab that the West dismissed.

Moscow has not captured any major cities in five weeks. On Tuesday, Moscow said that it would reduce its operations near Kyiv as well as the northern city Chernihiv. However, attacks on Chernihiv were continuing on Wednesday.

Chikov wrote that a day after the invasion began, a commander of the National Guard in the southern Krasnodar area and 11 members from his company refused permission to cross the border into Ukraine.

According to Chikov, the group claimed that the order was illegal as they did not have international passports and their primary job was restricted to Russia. They thought they were breaking the law by traveling abroad to join an armed group.

It was not possible to independently verify the account.

According to the lawyers, the servicemen were fired and filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. Benyash, who represents them, said that only three of the twelve servicemen filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit on Tuesday.

Russia established the National Guard in 2016 in order to combat terrorism and organised criminality. It has been a force for good since then. In 2020, President Vladimir Putin placed it on standby to assist Belarus in its suppression of civil unrest.


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