Alexander: “I fucking sent this contract - I don’t want to participate in incomprehensible shit”
I signed a contract when I did my military service, and thanks to my acquaintances, I ended up in a special forces regiment. He is not directly connected with the army, but is subordinate to the Ministry of Defense - there was one general above us. When the war started, we were on exercises in Belarus.
At about five o'clock in the morning we set out on the march for about 200 kilometers, and we did not meet any resistance. Then we set up camp, and each group received its own tasks - reconnaissance, support, and so on. We practically did not understand anything, the command did not explain anything, and we had no idea where we were going and why. After that, about 20 people left my group - then it was still possible. Everyone wrote a refusal on the grounds that the orders were contrary to the law: it is not written anywhere in our country that we can use the army on the territory of another state only to protect our citizens.
Everyone had questions, and the main one: if we defend the values of the citizens of the "DPR" and "LPR", why did such a large front form? We came both from Belarus and from the territory of the Crimea, that is, not from the territories of these republics. I believe that the "DPR" and "LPR" needed to be protected, but not in such a way and not to such an extent that they could destroy the cities of Ukraine and kill civilians. It was necessary to push Ukraine away from the borders of the republics, but for some reason we ended up near Kyiv, some kind of crap. When I was there, I did not understand what was really going on, and that is why I decided that I needed to tick. If the goals were more transparent, I would not quit. It is not clear what you are fighting for, and even they treat you like meat.
They sent us to defend the “DPR”, but for some reason we ended up near Kyiv, some kind of crap
But I can say with confidence that preparations for this war began in December. We were trained in every possible way for reconnaissance and work in the forest and urban areas. True, my commander, when we went to Ukraine, was lost and did not know what to do at all. He simply had a task - to go, although it was all presented as a joint exercise.
After we returned to Russia and filed reports, our command called us traitors to the motherland. This is actually a difficult situation, because I know that now many are being sent, for example, to camps in the “LPR”, where they are kept almost in torture conditions for refusing to serve further. When you are called a coward and a traitor, then a very unpleasant aftertaste remains, because initially each of us wanted to devote his life to serving and protecting the homeland.
But being in a war zone and being in a permanent deployment point are two different things. At the forefront, things work differently. When you are on a permanent basis, you just write a refusal, and you are fired, and there things are already different. If you write a refusal in the war, then you will be judged, because the article for disobeying an order during hostilities is much tougher, and I understand that if I hadn’t refused then, if I had stayed or went again, I could very well have either died, or get into the zone, and from there, as you know, again into the frying pan.
The work of our group was reconnaissance; we never worked on specific targets. At the time of our stay in Ukraine, none of my group suffered much. There was only one “300” with a shrapnel wound, and two more were missing, but most likely they were cargo 200. There was a fight, they went around, into the forest, and Ukrainians passed a few meters away. We then combed the site, but found no one.
When there are fights, you don’t really wonder what exactly they are going for. Whether you support it or not, nobody cares. You see, it's fucked up, and you wanted to give a shit about what tasks your government is performing. You only live with the thought that a rocket can fly into you at any moment. There were also very difficult psychological moments - for example, the body of a dead child without an arm. I saw it and then decided that it was from the Ukrainians, because there was a Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicle nearby, and this corpse was 50 meters away; Now I do not know.
It’s fucked up there, and you wanted to shit on the tasks of the government - you think, no matter how the rocket kills
Here the war is completely different, even when compared with Chechnya. I will not play a hero out of myself, everything that is happening there now is very scary, and the commanders are trying to save only their own skin, and this is terribly unpleasant. Although this is a war and no one expects much comfort in the war zone, but I fucking sent this contract: I want to live, and not participate in incomprehensible shit. This is really scary, and the command tells you in the forehead that we will all return from here either 200 or 300.
I fucking sent this contract - I want to live, not participate in incomprehensible shit
Although when you shoot, you feel more at peace: you just realize that this is a war, and you fixate on the recoil. And when it flies next to you, you lie stupidly and understand that this is inevitable, nothing depends on you, and you just wait for it to end - *bnet or not. How to emerge from the water - after the shelling, a similar feeling.
Yaroslav: “We probably need to fight the dwarves, because no one knows how to do a damn thing”
I have a wife and two children, so they didn’t take me to military service, but I had a quirk: I wanted to get into special forces or something similar. As a result, they told me that they could only take me on a contract, but I had to get a specialized secondary education. I received it, came to the military registration and enlistment office, and I was sent to Tajikistan to one of the Russian bases. There I already began to serve in intelligence. True, after a while I realized that this was not intelligence, but complete nonsense.
The contract requires three months of probation and, as I thought, training, but I didn’t have it as such. Everyone who goes to serve in Tajikistan goes through the training center in Elani, but instead of training, I lay there on the bed with the rest of the guys for three weeks.
A month later we were given train tickets to Yekaterinburg, from there we flew to Tajikistan. We also just lay there, ate and walked around the base just like that. At first they said that no one was sent from Tajikistan to Ukraine, then it turned out that everyone was sent. Therefore, there were very few people, and we had to go to the outfits day after day - to stand like soldiers with machine guns at some object.
The first words that the commander told us when we arrived there were: “Guys, go to the headquarters to terminate the contract and go home,” but no one listened to him, but in vain.
I held the machine gun only once at the very beginning, when they gave it to me with the words “look at it.” They also asked me if I could take it apart, to which I shook my head negatively. As a result, I was told to wait - supposedly they would come and show everything, but I sat like that with this machine for five hours and in the end decided to learn how to disassemble and assemble it by turning on the video on YouTube. In the end, they came, checked what I had learned, and let me go. I put the machine gun in the weapon storage room and never saw it again.
I learned how to assemble and disassemble the machine by turning on the video on YouTube
I spent three months in Tajikistan, and I was dressed once, where I also slept. The guys who came there with me, the situation was similar. Those who were not put on duty were usually taken to work. We had a field next to the base, where the locals grazed cows and sheep. And our job was that we had to clean up with shovels what the cattle left behind. When I was taken to one of these training grounds, I just stuck this shovel into the ground, sat down and said that I was being taken back to the base and that I was quitting.
For two months in Tajikistan, I sought dismissal from the contract. I was told that according to the system I had to do military service, and then only write a report and leave. But there is no deadline at this base, so I was sent to the Chelyabinsk region, to Chebarkul. I have been here since October 2021 and am still trying to quit. At first they wanted to fire me under the article, they said that I was not fulfilling my obligations under the contract. But it all died out, because now we have a temporary acting officer in our unit, and not a commander. And those who deal with the necessary papers do not listen to him. Some kind of kindergarten with a game, who will outguess whom. Then the mobilization began, and they told me for sure that they would not be fired.
I already wrote the second report with the help of the Movement of Conscious Objectors. The commander, when I brought two large sheets of this report, realized that he could not answer it, because everything was written according to the law. As a result, my application was taken to the prosecutor's office. I also wrote there and asked to control the process of my dismissal, but they still told me that they would not be fired.
Then I withdrew all my applications and simply came to the commander for the hundredth time with a request to be fired. For some reason he agreed, and now I have an extract from the dismissal order. It says that I should be fired and transferred. I'm all waiting for this to happen.
Now I'm sitting at home and I don't show any signs of life. I directly told the temporary officer that I would not go to any formations and outfits. I still haven’t even been given a normal uniform, everything was handed out to conscripts and mobilized. We agreed that I would sit at home and show myself when necessary. This is actually a common practice. All those who signed a contract instead of a term and managed to quit before mobilization are sitting in rented apartments.
All contractors who managed to quit before mobilization are sitting in rented apartments
The salary of a contractor is 30 thousand, in Tajikistan I received about 55 thousand minimum. But compared to my civilian salary, this is still a penny. The devil pulled me to join this army at all. Some mental confusion. By the way, I did not receive my salary for two months. This is how everything is arranged here: they throw it for money, and on the battlefield, and in preparation.
A conscript who serves here has only the skills of a loader and a janitor. He is not a warrior at all. Here in Chebarkul, I often see how conscripts are given brooms to carry melted snow across the asphalt. Apparently it dries faster. In fact, these mobilized people, different in age, had the same thing: they did not hold weapons in their hands, maybe someone fired three rounds a few times, and that was it. We probably need to fight the dwarves, because no one knows a damn thing at all.
One lieutenant-refusenik said that he was taken to the basement when he did not want to go to fight. There, they didn’t even give him a chance to wash, and they put a bucket in there to relieve himself. He moved his head strongly. Now he is in a mental hospital. By the way, his dismissal was attributed to psychological disorders.
Before the war, there was a military unit in Chebarkul, not a training one, and there were 12,000 contract soldiers. From this part, almost no one was left alive, and many of those who survived remained disabled. In principle, therefore, it was necessary to mobilize.
Of the 12 thousand contract soldiers of the unit in Chebarkul, almost no one survived
Few remained more or less healthy. They said that they went to the positions on Soviet tanks and managed to fire just a few shots before they were all bombed. All stories are almost the same type: whoever had time, he left. I heard enough and vowed: I won’t go anywhere, I won’t die myself, I won’t kill others, this is not the army that I dreamed of.
On the part of the command, unfair moments also occurred. The commanders do not want to die, they sit somewhere in the rear, and the fighters are sent to the very hell. The threat in case of failure to comply with the order is always the same: sending to the zone. In part, the same commander could protect his guys in front of his superiors, but in war everything is different. He himself does not want to go to the zone or die, but he seems to feel sorry for his boys, but he has to do his job. Everyone who returned from there is trying to either serve or quit. But then how lucky: they can send back, and if they refuse, they will go to sit.
At first I thought that everyone fought and died for at least some normal cause, but quickly changed my position. They also threaten me with being sent to Ukraine. But I tell everyone directly that I will not go. I know guys who also refused and are either in jail or in special settlements. This is a fairly easy article, given that on parole you can go home after six months. It's better than going to die for no reason, and if it doesn't work out, I'd rather do time.
Eugene: “We don’t release anyone, no one threatens us, and I didn’t go to serve for this”
Now I am on vacation. I'm going back to work soon and waiting to see what happens next. I started serving before the war, when I graduated from college. After school, I simply did not have a conscious decision where I was going and why, and how could one assume that this would result in what is happening now.
My contract ends this year, and I just calmly want to serve my time and leave, but so far they stubbornly say “no” to me. So now I have to put up with the consequences of my past decisions and try not to take part in what is happening. I want to quit - to do something useful, I want to create, not destroy.
I want to quit - do something useful, I want to create, not destroy
My specialty is unsuitable for sending to Ukraine - not the level of training, so last year I was offered to go there on a different military specialty. Of course, I refused, and they introduced me to a meeting of the attestation commission, where they said that a character like me was not suitable for them. Documents for dismissal were submitted, a conversation was held in the military prosecutor's office. Everyone played for time in every possible way with the dismissal, and then September came, and it became clear that this story would, of course, not end with anything.
At that time, they still didn’t radicalize so much, so there wasn’t much pressure in the officer team - they just started to look at me differently. Sometimes there were threats that I would go to the prosecutor's office and sit down, but basically everyone was discussing me behind my back.
I was in limbo until I passed the medical examination. There was a hope that something would be found and fired due to pathology, but this did not happen, and it became clear that I would have to continue to serve.
I was against this war from the very beginning. I understood that even if it didn’t work out with the dismissal, it would be better to end up in prison than start creating chaos. We do not release anyone, no one threatens us, and I did not go to serve for this. Now, however, the problem is that even those who are imprisoned are sent to fight.
Everything about my case is unclear. Now the turning point is just happening: the contract is already coming to an end, and everyone understands that it makes no sense to invest in me. My specialty requires serious preparation, and no one wants to spend a lot of time on me.
Opportunities to go somewhere in my situation, too, there is no. I know that many countries provide asylum if you arrive officially, and I do not have a document that would allow me to cross the border legally.
The prevailing percentage of my environment from the military does not speak out against it. Everyone was initially scared, but the human brain works in such a way that if you ended up somewhere and returned, then it seems that this is not such a dangerous place. Some return there smiling and confident that they are on an incredibly important mission. Many of those who simply accept their role say: we are military, we follow orders, and it doesn’t matter if we like it or not.
Familiar officers who are in Ukraine sometimes regret that they cannot steal a car from there. They all tell it like a funny story and don't treat it like it's crazy. They go there to liberate, "save" from Nazism, and then it turns out that, it turns out, they intend to steal something from ordinary people - whom they also came to "save" -.
Familiar officers regret that they cannot steal a car from peaceful Ukrainians
The level of morale among the soldiers there is extremely low, and I don't think it's a matter of war. It can't be that you suddenly, after what you saw in battle, suddenly decided that you want to take things out of other people's houses and rape Ukrainian girls. It's a horror I don't want to be a part of.