A transgender woman named Askatla, who is serving under contract in the Russian army, could be sent to war in Ukraine. To avoid this, she wants to prove her gender status and retire from the army on the basis of a transsexual diagnosis. Meduza writes about it.
In 2019, Askatla was drafted into the army, after serving, she entered into a contract with the Ministry of Defense in order to pay for hormone therapy with the money she earned. Askatla was bullied in the army because of her transgender identity.
Askatla's contract was supposed to end in March, but then a partial mobilization was announced. After that, Askatle and his colleagues were told that “there will be no layoffs” and they began to prepare contract soldiers to be sent to Ukraine. Askatla did not want to fight with Ukraine and decided to seek dismissal.
Askatla was admitted to the psychiatric department of a military hospital with a diagnosis of "adjustment disorder, mixed disorder of emotions and behavior." Her medical records also mention a diagnosis of neurotic disorder.
Askatly’s lawyer Maksim Olenichev told Meduza that both diagnoses are preliminary: “Psychiatrists will either confirm [them] or refute them, or they can make a different diagnosis.” OVD-Info lawyer Konstantin Boykov believes that the wording “neurotic disorder” also does not inspire confidence. “Because [this] disorder is there today – and tomorrow it is gone. Treated and sent back. I really hope that no one will say: “Come on just under Kherson, there are not enough people on the front line,” he explained.
Askatly's young man, Dmitry Tkachuk, Ukrainian. "We're just looking for ways to avoid being on opposite sides of the trenches [in the future]," he told Meduza in an interview.
When Askatla found out that they were going to send her to Ukraine, she wrote to her mother. “She said she would try to quit for health reasons. To which she received the answer: “Just come on so that they don’t show you on the news, please. There is no need to disgrace us all over the country.” People are afraid that on TV they will show a girl who is trying to quit. It's worse for them than if she dies. And this is some kind of common position of the command, colleagues, doctors: it’s better for her to die somewhere, ”said Tkachuk.
He added that it was impossible to return to the unit after an open statement about the transgenderness of Askatle, Tkachuk is convinced: “She will no longer live there.” “The staff psychologist has already told me that I have no way back. Because if earlier only the sergeants and a few other people knew about me, now it’s absolutely the whole part. ”