On July 21, it became known that Russian soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine were being sent to a special center for “refuseniks” in Bryanka, Luhansk region. The Insider was able to contact one of them. He arrived in Bryanka on July 22 and was able to hide the phone.
Ivan (name changed) said that he wrote a report about the refusal to participate in the war due to moral unpreparedness. About two hundred other people did the same with him. According to Ivan, some of them were sent home, and some were less fortunate, and they, like him, ended up in Bryanka.
After we wrote, we were in three places: from one camp, then a day in a cell with bars for a day, and then we arrived here.
At the same time, as Ivan says, a report is not a guarantee that you will not go to the front. Some "refuseniks" are taken there by force.
According to rumors, those who refused were taken to a remote place and processed there. They said that there is a basement and a pit. Some ran away and we never saw them again.
Upon arrival in the Luhansk region, the military is not told where they will be sent. According to Ivan, they are threatened with a disbat, a construction battalion and a camp. In Bryanka, the military is told that they need to go through two conversations - with a psychologist and with commanders who will decide what to do with the “refusenik”.
They told me: “You have two options - you can go ahead, or you can refuse, but they will put you in a pre-trial detention center.” That's what they call the hole. I plan to refuse. Maybe it will be possible to calmly leave here without a hole. There is another option to return to your unit.
The report, because of which Ivan and his colleagues ended up in Bryanka, is not the first. When the military wrote a similar refusal, being in a unit in Russia, they were threatened with a term.
There are articles for evasion. Since we are military personnel, we are obliged to fulfill all the tasks that have been assigned. I couldn't refuse because I didn't want to go to jail.
Before being in Bryanka, Ivan spent three months in the war. According to him, the worst thing he saw during this time was the death of his comrades and the way they were treated by the command.
We have constant deceit, constant manipulation. We are told that we will go there, do this, and return home. We carry out these actions and a day or two later we are again told to go somewhere. Many soldiers die because of their own stupidity and inexperienced command.
Now Ivan is in touch with his parents, who are trying to get him out of prison. Everything is complicated by the fact that officially the prisoners of Bryanka are not allowed to make calls, and they have to use the phone in secret from the guards. “We have to hide. If they find it, they will destroy it."
Earlier, The Insider managed to contact the relatives of two contractors held in Bryanka. One of them said that there were a lot of “refuseniks”. The military command refuses to let them go home, fearing that the rest of the contractors will follow their example.
Another interlocutor of The Insider is the father of one of the “refuseniks”. He said that after three months of service, Russian contractors were promised a vacation and the opportunity to refuse to participate in hostilities. However, when they decided to leave Ukraine, having written refusals, they were detained and taken to Bryanka, where they have been kept in custody for more than a month.
According to the man, contract soldiers are kept in terrible conditions: “Some kind of pits, torture and the like. This is what the people who come from there say.” At those very conversations with a psychologist, they are told: “You are a coward, officers don’t behave like that, you betray your homeland at its most difficult hour, when the Nazis are already at our borders”, “How can you leave your comrades?”, “If not you and people like you, we would have captured the whole of Ukraine long ago.” But even despite this, the contractors do not want to return to the front.
Yes, it's better to give your soul to God than to go back there. They no longer want to be up to their necks in the blood of their friends and close officers. Let the Russian soldier be hurt and bad, but he will not go. I have no information that someone from there went back.