The Russian command punishes the military who have committed a disciplinary violation by putting them in zindans. This is reported by British intelligence. The department's daily report highlights that at the start of the full-scale invasion, many Russian commanders were relatively calm about discipline. In some cases, they even sent home those who refused to fight. However, since the fall of 2022, disciplinary statements have become much tougher. The situation worsened even more in January, when Valery Gerasimov became commander of the Joint Group of Forces.
Zindan is an underground dungeon. From the Persian language, the word "zindan" (زندان, zindân) is translated simply as "prison". In Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, this is the name given to active prisons. During both Chechen wars, pits were called zindans, in which the Russian occupation troops kept prisoners. They were not only Chechens, but, like today, other Russian military men. Here is what journalist Anna Politkovskaya wrote about zindans and their use in the Second Chechen War:
“Private Koryagin was well aware of the punishment measures adopted in the border Tuskharoy, but somehow he was very tired due to the location of the unit and still did not salute the officer. The result is 20 days in the pit. He describes it as follows: large, roomy, about 25 square meters in area and one and a half meters deep. More than 10 soldiers were there at the same time as Koryagin. Feeding was rare, and often there was not enough food. The floor is naturally damp earth. Blankets, of course, are not given out, they are not allowed to have warm clothes. Koryagin came out of the pit absolutely sick. And this is the difference between the torture applied to soldiers and Chechens: soldiers are taught under torture how to be a good soldier, and Chechens are killed, because a good Chechen is a dead Chechen. The last saying was heard by everyone who at least once communicated with the military in Chechnya.