- A lawyer for the Russian forces, who were dismissed for refusing to go to Ukraine, said 1,000 others had contacted him.
- “A lot of people don’t want to go and fight,” said Mikhail Banyash. Financial Times.
- Multiple reports described low morale among the Russian forces.
A lawyer representing a group of Russian National Guardsmen who refused to join the invasion of Ukraine said hundreds of other soldiers and guards had been in contact with him seeking help in avoiding war.
Michael Banyash said Financial Times That “a lot of people don’t want to go and fight” and that about 1,000 people have been in contact with him since his case representing the guards was announced.
He said he represents 12 National Guardsmen who were fired for refusing to go to Ukraine.
They were members of Rosgvardia, a force separate from the army. The Financial Times reported that they said this meant they should not be sent to Ukraine.
The men said they thought they would do something illegal if they traveled abroad as part of an armed group, Reuters reported. Reuters reported that they also said they did not have passports.
Reuters and the Financial Times reported that they had filed an unfair dismissal lawsuit against the government.
Reuters and the Financial Times reported that only three of the 12 guards had initiated the suit. Banyash said the other nine withdrew their lawsuits because they had been threatened.
The reports came as Ukrainian and Western officials described deteriorating morale among Russian forces. On Thursday, the head of the British secret service GCHQ He said Russian soldiers were “refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their equipment, and even accidentally shooting down their planes.”