The Russian soldiers are taking away weapons from the combat zone; dozens of servicemen have already been put on trial for mishandling guns.
Source: Vyorstka, Russian Telegram channel
Details: Since the beginning of the full-scale war in February 2022, at least 42 servicemen in Russia have appeared in court for the appropriation, storage, transportation and carrying of weapons, ammunition and explosive devices (Articles 222 and 222.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Vyorstka has discovered this by studying the bases of all Russian garrison military courts.
Judging by the published verdicts, the Russian soldiers bring the firearms found at the front back home or keep unused cartridges and grenades for themselves. They carry them to military units, hiding them in armoured vests, backpacks and sleeping bags, then bring them to a secret place, and when going home on vacation, they take these weapons with them.
At least 18 servicemen who had come home from the war have already been convicted. Two dozen more are awaiting a court decision.
One soldier was sent to prison for 2.5 years. During the inspection at the checkpoint of the Crimean bridge, which he used to come home, 4 hand grenades, 5 bullets and a smoke grenade were found in his backpack. The soldier told investigators that he was carrying explosive devices "for personal safety."
The rest of the servicemen have been fined for several tens of thousands of roubles and received suspended terms. Sometimes weapons were found during inspections at checkpoints, Road Patrol Service posts and train stations.
For example, when searching a soldier from Kursk, who was coming home through Crimea, an employee of the State Road Safety Inspectorate found a Val rifle, a Makarov pistol and 300 rounds of ammunition in his backpack.
In Samara Oblast, employees of the Road Patrol Service found a Makarov pistol and two loaded magazines in the car of a soldier from Chelyabinsk, in which he was coming home from the war.
At a train station in Voronezh Oblast, an F-1 hand grenade was seized from a soldier after he had his backpack scanned with an X-ray. Later, he told investigators that he wanted to use the grenade for fishing.
Those who manage to bring weapons home keep them in their apartments and cottage houses.
In Reutov (Moscow Oblast), two friends who came home from the war gave loaded magazines from a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a Dragunov rifle to the owner of the apartment they rented. She took the ammunition, and a few days after that, she called the police.
In Bryansk, another soldier took a fragmentation grenade from the front, brought it to the service apartment and put it on a shelf in the corridor. On the same day, he had a fight with his wife. The policemen, who arrived at the scene, saw the grenade and called the bomb disposal experts.
One of the convicts got drunk and started firing his pistol in a public place. He found a Makarov pistol with cartridges and an RGD-5 grenade under the seat of a combat vehicle that returned to the unit after the battle. He kept the find in the ground, and three weeks after that, he dug up a gun, took it with him for a walk and started shooting into the air near a grocery store. The court assigned him compulsory works.
Several servicemen who took combat ammunition from the front managed to avoid criminal liability: their cases were closed. They convinced the court that they came to their senses and made amends by giving public lectures in their military units about responsibility for illegal possession of weapons and by donating 5 to 10 thousand roubles to help children.
In August 2022, in Smolensk Oblast, four armed men, one of them being a contracted soldier, attacked Ukrainian refugees at a temporary accommodation point. The same month, in Rostov-on-Don, a military officer shot a taxi driver from a Makarov pistol as the two argued about politics.
In December in Petrozavodsk, another soldier killed his wife with a handgun, Vyorstka emphasised.
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