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UK intel: Russia continues mobilization, convicting those who refused to fight in Ukraine

Reservists drafted during Russia’s partial mobilization attend a departure ceremony in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Sept. 27. STRINGER/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
UK intel: Russia continues mobilization, convicting those who refused to fight in Ukraine

“On 25 August 2023, two Russian soldiers were sentenced to serve at least two years in a penal colony by a military court for refusing to obey orders to return to the front in Ukraine,” British intelligence wrote in its daily report.

On 18 July 2023, the Mediazona news outlet reported that Russia was convicting nearly 100 soldiers per week for refusing to engage in combat. If this pattern persists, there could be around 5,200 convictions annually for this refusal.

According to UK intel, The elevated conviction rate underscores the Russian Army’s weakened morale and certain elements’ apprehension to engage in combat.

“Refusal to fight likely reflects the lack of training, motivation, and high-stress situations Russian forces face along the entire Ukrainian frontline,” British intel said.

Despite instances of soldier refusal to engage and the persistence of high attrition rates, Russia is probably countering these losses by deploying a large number of inadequately trained troops to the frontline.

Following Russia’s partial mobilization in September 2022, the country has adjusted its warfare strategy, emphasizing the utilization of overwhelming numerical strength for both offensive and defensive operations, UK intelligence concluded.

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