The Odintsovo garrison military court issued a guilty verdict in the case of mass desertion of mobilized military personnel who, having fled the LPR, reached the Moscow region with unloaded weapons, where they surrendered to the police. Former military men received from six to seven years in a strict regime colony. At the same time, the court refused to impose a punishment below the lower limit, considering the act committed by the defendants to be socially dangerous. The defense will appeal the verdict.
The Odintsovo garrison military court found guilty all eight mobilized Kaliningraders: Sergeant Yevgeny Kravchenko and privates Dmitry Melnikov, Alexander Babeshko, Nikolai Kolmachev, Alexander Bogachenko, Alexander Eliseev, corporal Igor Medvedev and Denis Balakhin of desertion committed during the period of hostilities (part 3 of Art. 338 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
Yevgeny Kravchenko and Alexander Bogachenko each received seven years in a strict regime colony, Dmitry Melnikov, Alexander Eliseev, Igor Medvedev and Denis Balakhin were sentenced to six and a half years, and Alexander Babeshko and Nikolai Kolmachev to six.
The court also stripped Yevgeny Kravchenko and Igor Medvedev of their military ranks, on which the military prosecutor insisted in the debate of the parties.
The verdict also noted that the court, having studied the identity of the defendants, taking into account the nature and degree of public danger of the crime they committed, considered it impossible to correct them without actually serving a sentence of imprisonment, and also found no grounds for sentencing them below the lower limit. It should be noted that earlier in the materials of the criminal case, as Kommersant said, there was also an article on non-execution of the order, but it was not included in the court decision.
The escape of Kaliningraders from the field camp of a military unit located between the villages of Malaya Aleksandrovka and Gladkovo, Belokurakinsky district, Luhansk region, we recall, took place on the evening of December 26 last year. The military personnel mobilized in September 2022 were deployed to this place on November 12. According to the materials of the case, the decision to leave the unit was formed on December 24, when they were informed that they would be sent to the front line.
According to the fugitives themselves, the decision to leave the unit was influenced by their unpreparedness for participation in hostilities, as well as the desire to save “life and health.”
In addition, the defendants in the case said that during mobilization they expected that they would be trained in the camp for battles with the enemy, but instead they were literally forced to “fight for their lives and health”: dig dugouts, harvest firewood, for their account to buy tools, food.
In preparation for the escape, Kaliningraders bought food, civilian clothes and sports bags, in which they put three dismantled AK-74 assault rifles, three RPK-74 light machine guns and a PKM machine gun. On the evening of December 26, they ordered two taxis to Lipetsk, spent the night there, and then on passing minibuses they got to Podolsk, near Moscow, where they surrendered at the police station.
Deserters and police materials were transferred for investigation to the military investigation department for the Podolsky garrison, at whose request the court arrested Sergeant Kravchenko. The rest were sent to the Chekhov-4 military unit under the supervision of the unit commander.
During the investigation of the criminal case, the former fighters were defended by appointed lawyers, whom they refused at the stage of bringing the case to court, concluding an agreement with their countryman Yevgeny Saveskul, who defended them at the trial.
After the verdict was announced, all the defendants under supervision were handcuffed in the courtroom. The lawyer was dissatisfied with the court decision and will appeal against it. Until consideration of appeals against the verdict, the convicts will be kept in the capital’s pre-trial detention center No. 12.