Around 60 Russian paratroopers are expected to be sentenced for staging a mutiny and refusing to fight in Ukraine, according to reports.
The men, who came from Pskov, Russia’s main airborne forces headquarters, could now face jail time for their disobedience.
The refusenik troops had been sent to Belarus as part of the invasion force, but were ordered back to their base in Pskov in disgrace after their mutiny.
Some have been fired and labeled “cowards,” while others are facing the Russian equivalent of a court-martial, which will almost certainly result in jail time.
One of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s deputies is said to have been dispatched to Pskov to deal with the insubordination.
Even though Ukraine stated the forces were elite paratroopers, this has yet to be proven.
Russian opposition outlet Pskovskaya Guberniya reported: ‘About 60 servicemen from Pskov refused to go to war on Ukrainian territory, according to our sources.
‘After the first days of the war, they were first brought to the Republic of Belarus, and then they returned to their base in Pskov.
‘Most of them are currently being dismissed, but some are threatened with criminal cases.’
It is the latest of several cases of Russian troops refusing to obey Vladimir Putin’s orders to invade Ukraine and ‘deNazify’ the country.
An earlier captive Russian soldier from Pskov, Vladimir Safronov, 23, told his Ukrainian interrogators about problems with rations, and how his officers were looting the civilian population.
‘Things are bad with food, we are constantly saving it,’ he said.
‘Very often we have a situation that a ration for one person is shared between two people.
‘We are eating mostly what we find inside [civilian] houses [in occupied Ukraine].
He said: ‘There is a lot of looting, I’ve personally seen it.
‘I don’t support it, it was mainly senior sergeants and the commander who did it…
‘I saw civilians who were hiding, people who were unable to evacuate, who lived in constant fear.
‘I felt awfully sorry for them, it was scary to find them.’