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Vladimir Putin faces dissent as Russian servicemen challenge illegal war order

A total of 25 national guard servicemen who report to Vladimir Putin are set to go to court on Thursday over their illegal dismissal after they refused to enter a foreign war zone

By Gabriella Clare | Mirror |

Russian troops headed by Vladimir Putin are set to go to court to challenge an illegal order for them to fight in the war against Ukraine.

A total of 25 national guards “refuseniks”, who report directly to Putin, are demanding their job back after they were fired for defying commanders’ orders to send them to a foreign war zone.

The Vladikavkaz garrison military court is due to start considering their lawsuit on Thursday said lawyer and human rights campaigner Pavel Chikov.

They aim to prove that their dismissal was “illegal” since it was based on their refusal to enter Ukraine.

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The “refuseniks” were ordered to enter Ukraine early on in the war to keep order in Ukrainian cities.

At the time, the Kremlin believed that victory would be swift and locals would surrender to Russian troops but many died, with the true figure not yet public.

The case comes at a time when reports of open dissent in Russia are increasing, even among those in uniform.

Hundred of guards from at least 17 cities have sought legal advice and aim to follow in the footsteps of the 25 national guards who have already launched their case.

The servicemen are challenging Putin’s commander to the North Caucasian District to the National Guard Troops, Lt-Gen Sergey Zakharov.

Lawyers from a number of other cities and regions are working on more cases, including Krasnodar, Nalchik, Cherkessk, Samara, Moscow region, Veliky Novgorod, Simferopol, Novocherkassk, Vladivostok, Stavropol, Abakan, Pskov, Orenburg, Ulan-Ude, Petersburg, and Smolensk.

There’s been a number of reports of Putin facing dissent from supporters including hardline senior figures in the military who have been left furious saying he has not gone far enough in the ongoing war.

According to a report, they blame Putin for the “serious error” of retreating from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, instead of storming it and are enraged by his decision to concentrate on a more limited war, focusing on the Donbas, instead of the entirety of Ukraine.