Russian military given a 6.5-year term for deserting during a conflict he opposed
According to the Taiga.info news website, a Russian security officer who left the country after objecting to the invasion of Ukraine has been given a six-and-a-half-year sentence in a high-security facility.
Federal Protective Service As Russia announced a conscription campaign last year, Major Mikhail Zhilin, 36, escaped to Kazakhstan, illegally crossing the border via woodlands as his wife and kids rode through a checkpoint. In the former Soviet republic, Zhilin requested refugee status; however, his application was denied, and officials there prevented him from departing for Armenia.
Late last year, Kazakhstan turned him over to Russia, which resulted in the unusual conviction of an officer for deserting his post.
A court in Barnaul, Russia, according to Taiga.info, found Zhilin, who had worked on communications at siberian security facility found him guilty of deserting and unlawful border crossing; in addition to the prison sentence, his officer rank was also taken away.
When contacted by phone, a court clerk in Barnaul acknowledged that Zhilin had received a sentence but declined to offer any other details.
Due to last year’s mobilization, hundreds of thousands of Russians left their nation. Many of them relocated to Kazakhstan, which has the longest continuous land border with Russia. But unlike them, Zhilin had access to information deemed secret due to his work at the agency responsible for President Vladimir Putin’s security, and Moscow was keen to get him back, his family told Reuters last year.