Aktion in Südkorea, 2015. Foto: Connection e.V.

Aktion in Südkorea, 2015. Foto: Connection e.V.

Digest May 2024


by The Movement of Conscientious Objectors

(09.07.2024) Friends, hello everyone! This is Artem Klyga from the Movement of Conscientious Objectors. In May, we faced mass raids on conscripts in Moscow. There were so many that we had to launch a public assistance campaign with our colleagues. Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, the first abduction of a Russian deserter by the military police has taken place. Kazakhstan is not a safe country, and we have written and spoken about this many times. In Krasnodar, conscripts are being forcibly sent to military service after undergoing medical examinations, and in various regions of Russia, the traffic police are unlawfully taking on the functions of military offices. Enjoy reading!

Mass raids on conscripts took place in Moscow

The police in Moscow conducted mass raids on conscripts. For the first time, facial recognition cameras were used for detentions. If a conscription decision was made regarding a conscript, their passport data along with their photo were transferred to the police. The police would then detain the person and deliver them to the assembly point – the place from which conscripts are distributed to military units. At the assembly point, employees, together with the police, held entire groups of conscripts and used violence against them. This situation prompted parents of conscripts to file collective complaints. On our initiative, a campaign to assist the parents of conscripts was launched. We offered legal assistance to the detainees, provided consultations, and even managed to help some conscripts leave the assembly point by proving that they had medical conditions that disqualified them from military service.

A Deserter from the Russian Army Kidnapped in Kazakhstan for the First Time

Russian military investigators detained Kamil Kasimov right at his workplace and then took him to a Russian military base in Priozersk (Karaganda region of Kazakhstan), where he is still being held. Kasimov has been charged under Article 338 of the Russian Criminal Code "Desertion", which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Crimes against military service are not extraditable offenses under Kazakh law. However, there are concerns that Kasimov might be coerced into "voluntarily" leaving Kazakhstan, with promises of dropping the criminal charges against him. We are currently continuing to work on this case, also assisting Kamil Kasimov’s close relatives in Russia. Notably, this is the first case of a Russian military service member being kidnapped by Russian military personnel in Kazakhstan. Previously, such incidents occurred twice in Armenia.

Russian Traffic Police Trying to Issue Draft Notices

Unusually, but it’s a fact. The Russian traffic police, whose duties include enforcing traffic regulations and issuing driver’s licenses, are attempting to issue draft notices to future drivers. In various regions of Russia, as reported to us by those seeking to apply for a driver’s license, applicants are being asked to bring their military ID or have the "liable for military service" mark in their Russian passport. If this requirement is not met, traffic police officers refuse to accept documents and attempt to issue draft notices to clarify military registration documents. Unfortunately, this practice is now typical for various government agencies. We have previously received information that when issuing foreign passports, applicants are required to present their military ID or another military registration document. Of course, all these requirements are unlawful and can be appealed.

In Krasnodar, Conscripts Are Forcibly Sent to Military Service After Undergoing a Control Medical Examination

A control medical examination is a procedure sometimes conducted for conscripts whose diagnosis is questioned by a higher regional draft commission. In such cases, this commission cancels the decision of the lower draft commission and summons conscripts for a repeat medical examination. In Krasnodar, after this procedure, young men were forced to change into military uniforms, undergo fingerprinting, and sign for the receipt of military IDs, thereby agreeing to the status of military personnel. These actions are illegal because they deprive the conscript of the opportunity to appeal the final decision of the military enlistment office in court. Unfortunately, in such raids, it is not always possible to help every conscript. Much in such a situation depends on the determination and willingness of the individual to defend their rights.

The Movement of Conscientious Objectors Russia (MCO): Digest May 2024, 09.07.2024.

Keywords:    ⇒ Conscription   ⇒ Draft Evasion   ⇒ Human Rights   ⇒ Militarization   ⇒ Military   ⇒ Peace Movement   ⇒ Prosecution   ⇒ Recruitment   ⇒ Russia   ⇒ War