As the war in Ukraine continues, the number of deserting Russian soldiers is increasing. Russia’s failure to officially declare war on Ukraine has made the legal process even more complicated for those soldiers 24-year-old Russian soldier Albert Sakhibgareev said on 8 February Russia was sent to Belgorod District for military exercises.
Following Vladimir Putin’s speech on 21 February rejecting Ukraine’s right to become a state, many of the soldiers at the Sakhibgareev base were confiscated and ordered to wear a bulletproof jacket. They emptied bullets and ammunition from Soviet-era trucks, but they didn’t know what was going to happen. On February 24, at dawn, the artillery woke up with a fever close to it. Two shells fell in the barracks on the Ukrainian border. Military helicopters and other planes flew up the hill. Sakhibgareev said he learned what was going on only after he secretly read a news article on social media: “Russia occupies Ukraine.”