At least 60 Russian paratroopers have reportedly staged a mutiny and refused to fight in Ukraine.
The ‘elite unit’ was from a key airbase in Pskov, northern Russia.
When they refused to fight the troops are understood to have been withdrawn to Belarus, from where they were then sent back to Pskov in disgrace.
Read Also: Russia Suspended From United Nations’ Human Rights Council Following Invasion Of Ukraine
Most of the unit has been fired, while others are facing criminal charges, the Pskovskaya Guberniya, an independent newspaper in Pskov has reported.
Those facing criminal charges will be subject to the Russian equivalent of a court-martial and will most likely be handed jail sentences.
Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu is reported to have sent one of his deputies to Pskov to handle the insubordination.
Ukraine has claimed the 60 or so troops were elite paratroopers but this has not been independently verified.
Read Also: ‘Putin Chose This War, And Now He And His Country Will Bear The Consequences’ – Biden Announces New Sanctions On Russia For Invading Ukraine
The servicemen are however understood to have hailed from Pskov, a key base for one of Russia’s most elite airborne units.
Pskovskaya Guberniya reported: ‘About 60 servicemen from Pskov refused to go to war on Ukrainian territory, according to our sources.
‘After the first days of the war, they were first brought to the Republic of Belarus, and then they returned to their base in Pskov. Most of them are currently being dismissed, but some are threatened with criminal cases.’
The mutiny is the latest of several cases of Russian troops refusing to obey Vladimir Putin’s orders to invade Ukraine.
An earlier captive Russian soldier from Pskov, Vladimir Safronov, 23, told his Ukrainian interrogators about problems with rations, and how his officers were looting civilian homes.
‘Things are bad with food, we are constantly saving it,’ he said.
‘Very often we have a situation that a ration for one person is shared between two people.
‘We are eating mostly what we find inside [civilian] houses [in occupied Ukraine].
‘There is a lot of looting, I’ve personally seen it,’ he said.
‘I don’t support it, it was mainly senior sergeants and the commander who did it. I saw civilians who were hiding, people who were unable to evacuate, who lived in constant fear. I felt awfully sorry for them, it was scary to find them.’
In March, a Russian commander was killed by his own troops who ran him over with a tank.
Colonel Medvechek, commanding the Russian 37th Motor Rifle Brigade, is believed to have been deliberately mown down due to the number of casualties suffered by his unit.
The incident came after reports of elite OMON special forces from Khakassia refusing to take up arms and troops from unofficial statelet South Ossetia allegedly returning to their homes on foot after refusing to fight.
Photo Credit: Getty