12 Rosgvardiya fighters from the Krasnodar riot police unit refused to go to Ukraine, head of the International Human Rights Group Agora Pavel Chikov reported in his Telegram channel.
According to the lawyer, on February 25, police captain Farid Chitav, platoon commander of the «Plastun» operational company of Krasnodar Krai Rosgvardia, and 11 fighters from his company refused to follow the squad leader's order to cross the Russian border and continue to move deeper into the Ukrainian territory.
Since February 6, the riot police squad from Krasnodar was in the Republic of Crimea, where the policemen had been sent to participate in the Zaslon 2022 exercises. The Rosgvardia fighters were shipped back to Krasnodar, debriefed and dismissed from service.
The refusal to comply with the order was explained by the illegality of the order. None of them had a foreign passport with them, nor did they have any intention to leave the Russian territory, as their direct duties were limited to the Russian Federation. None of them had been informed about the need to go on a business trip to Ukraine to participate in a special military operation, or about the goals and conditions of such operation, and therefore none of them had given his consent to it.
The illegal crossing of the state border is in itself a crime under Article 322 of the Russian Criminal Code, while illegal entry into Ukraine as part of an armed group constitutes numerous violations of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, Chikov says.
The Rosgvardia fighters consider their dismissal illegal and have filed a lawsuit for reinstatement.
Russia continues its military invasion of Ukraine, launched by the order of Vladimir Putin on February 24. The Russian authorities call it a «special military operation» to protect people «from genocide.» Recently, Russia has been shelling not only military facilities but also residential areas in Ukraine, using cluster bombs among other armaments, which are particularly dangerous to civilians. At the same time, the Russian side continues to claim it is only targeting military infrastructure.