Russia’s military leadership uses various pretexts to deny soldiers the right to resign, forcing them to remain in service, reported Novaya Gazeta on Monday, October 28.
The Russian newspaper spoke to several lieutenants who are currently being forced to continue their service. One of them was Viktor Dey, a graduate of the Peter the Great Military Academy of the Strategic Missile Troops. After completing his studies, the lieutenant was dispatched to the Yuryansky division in Russia’s Kirov province. There he submitted a letter of resignation, but received no response.
“At the time, I asked a legal expert for advice. He said that if they don’t want me to resign on my own, we should do it differently: a soldier may not engage in business activity. So we gave me the status of individual business owner,” Dey explained.
The lieutenant said that he and his parents then started getting phone calls with threats from the division’s command. Dey contacted the military prosecution office and the headquarters of his division and the army in connection with this problem. He was told that the defense minister had personally given orders “not to dismiss especially young lieutenants”.
Dey is still a soldier, but his activity in the army is limited, which allows him to work on another specialization.
Sergey Krivenko, leader of the social movement “Citizen. Army. Law”, said that part of the reason it is difficult for soldiers resign is “fuzzy legislation”. Military units also face difficulties with document management and paperwork. This was confirmed to Novaya Gazeta by a legal expert who chose to remain anonymous. The expert emphasized that a lot depends on the human factor, and that some soldiers manage to “slip through”.
At present there are more than 1.9 million people in the Russian Armed Forces, although no official information about its structural composition is available. There are approximately 250,000 officers.