“I will close my eyes and ears and wait for the execution”
One of those who applied, Elena Kashina, the wife of the mobilized, said that her 33-year-old husband had no military experience. In the army, he repaired armored personnel carriers in the garage, in the military ID he is "Driver for the repair and operation of heavy equipment."
“When they were at the training ground, they were given one day to shoot from a machine gun. The machine gun had a sight bent on its side, so it didn’t hit from 400 meters, or even from 100 meters. The next day they dug trenches, and that's all the combat training. After that, they were sent to Ukraine. My husband works in a mining and metallurgical complex for the extraction and enrichment of ore and minerals, which are classified as defense enterprises, they should not be taken from there at all, but we were not lucky.”
According to Kashina, her husband has been in Ukraine since October 2. Around October 10, he got in touch and said that the mobilized were on duty in the trenches, trying to win back the forest belts. On October 12, he was able to contact his wife again, said that he did not want to kill people, “he would close his eyes and ears” and would wait for the execution, which the political officer of the company promised when several mobilized people announced their desire to write a report.
“Before writing the report, the political officer of the 5th company in their “DPR” said that if they write something, they will be shot, thrown into a common pit, and their relatives will be written that they are missing. My husband called and said: “Len, our people can shoot me today.” Completely depressed people, they were broken psychologically. I think that if they return home, they will need the help of a psychiatrist. In this state, they were already thrown into the basement, they sat there for two days on the ground in a brick basement.
According to Elena, no progress was given to the reports. The last time her husband got in touch was on October 31 and said that refuseniks, including him, were being taken away somewhere. Six of those who wrote the report were left in the camp to cook food for the military, eight more people were thrown into the basement. Relatives wrote a statement to the Investigative Committee that the refuseniks were being illegally held hostage. They haven't received any response yet.
“Kept in the basement, forced to starve to refuse reports”
Among those who are forcibly kept in this camp, in addition to Elena Kashina's husband, seven more people worked at the Dalpolimetall Mining and Metallurgical Complex JSC in the city of Dalnegorsk, Primorsky Krai, before mobilization. Everyone had a reservation, like employees of a defense enterprise, their engineer personally brought it to the commander of the military unit. However, he did not let anyone go, and the miners were sent to the front. Below is a collective letter from the wives and mothers of these mobilized.
“On the morning of September 22, 2022, they received a call from the military commissariat and demanded that they appear within an hour along with their belongings. In case of failure to appear, they were threatened with ten-year prison terms with confiscation of property. Subsequently, they were sent to a training ground (Ilyinka), a medical commission was not held, although many had health problems (many worked in mines, mined lead ore before being drafted).
On September 29, a representative of this enterprise, the chief engineer, came to the test site for our relatives and other employees of the MMC Dalpolimetall: he handed over to the commander of military unit No. 16871 Pavel Olegovich Lebedev a request for the extradition of people according to the list for reservation. Our relatives were included in this list. However, Lebedev did not let them go, thereby depriving them of the opportunity to appear at the military commissariat to obtain a certificate in form 4 (for assigning a reservation). Lebedev responded to our demands to extradite our husbands and children with a categorical, unmotivated refusal. As a result, on October 1 (that is, 9 days after the draft), all of them, without special training, were sent to the war zone in Ukraine.
It is important to note that our relatives still do not have a single note on their military cards that they are assigned to any military unit. They did not sign a contract with anyone. While there, our relatives were forced to storm enemy positions. In this regard, they wrote reports refusing to go on the assault, referring to the convictions of conscience, since by virtue of these convictions they cannot and will not kill people.
In the future, officers of various ranks repeatedly visited the servicemen who signed the reports and held conversations. However, after making sure that the persuasion did not work, the command turned to threats of execution. On October 16, 8 people who signed the reports were taken away in an unknown direction, after which they handed over their weapons and body armor. For two days they were forcibly kept in the basement, trying to starve them out of their reports. We learned about this on October 20, when our relatives got in touch (by that time they had been released after the arrival of the commission with a check).
Until October 31, our relatives were 40 kilometers from the city of Mariupol in the DPR, dugouts were built in the forest belt, they did not participate in hostilities, military equipment was handed over in the prescribed manner. However, on November 1, all 8 people who signed reports refusing to go on the assault were taken away again - to the same basement in which they had been imprisoned earlier.
Yesterday, November 4, one of our relatives got in touch, said that they had not been fed at all for three days. To date, the illegal detention of servicemen in the basement continues, they are not provided with personal hygiene products, they are not informed of the grounds for forcible detention, they are called traitors and threatened with execution. On our part, appeals are submitted to the authorities, statements about crimes, but there is no proper reaction from law enforcement agencies.”