Putin losing THOUSANDS of troops as Russian soldiers flee from fighting in Ukraine war

Putin losing THOUSANDS of troops as Russian soldiers flee from fighting in Ukraine war

WATCH: Former Russian PM Mikhail Kasyanov tells Mark Dolan "Putin will go on to threaten a NATO country"

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 12/04/2024

- 11:39

Activist groups have helped more than 520 active-duty soldiers and officers flee this year

Thousands of Russian troops are fleeing the front line in Ukraine as asylum claims from Russia surge.

Neighbouring countries are split over whether to accept those fleeing poor conditions with some seeing them as potential assets with others fearing they pose a risk to national security.

More than 500 in the first two months of this year are contacting group run by Russian activists in the Republic of Georgia has been set up entitled Idite Lesom, or "Get Lost".

The group’s head, Grigory Sverdlin said it has supported more than 26,000 Russians seeking to avoid military service and helped more than 520 active-duty soldiers and officers flee.

Russian soldiers

Moscow is facing a crisis of soldiers deserting


One deserter, going by the nickname Sparrow, is living in hiding in Kazakhstan while he waits for his asylum applications to be processed.

He told The Independent: "I did the right thing. I’d rather sit here and suffer and look for something than go there and kill a human being because of some unclear war, which is 100 percent Russia’s fault. I don’t regret it."

Another Russian officer, nicknamed Sportsmaster, was about to leave Russia when he could to make a grand gesture to demonstrate his opposition to the war by placing his military uniforms in two black bags and throwing them in a bin.

He said: "They wanted to force me to go fight against the free people of Ukraine...Putin wanted me to be in a bag, but it’s his uniform that will be in a bag.



Putin is under pressure with soldiers leaving the front lines


Another deserter, known only as Yevgeny, told his friend and fellow soldier to shoot him in the leg.

He said: "I joke that I gave birth to myself. When a woman gives birth to a child, she experiences very intense pain and gives new life. I gave myself life after going through very intense pain.

"There is no mechanism for Russians who do not want to fight, deserters, to get to a safe place. After all, it’s much cheaper economically to allow a person into your country — a healthy young man who can work — than to supply Ukraine with weapons."

German officials have said that Russians fleeing military service can seek protection, and a French court last summer ruled that Russians who refuse to fight can claim refugee status.

Fewer than 300 Russians got refugee status in the US in fiscal year 2022. Less than 10 per cent of the 5,246 people whose applications were processed last year got some sort of protection from German authorities.

Earlier this week, Japan's prime minister told US lawmakers Ukraine risks collapsing under Russia's onslaught without US support, urging them to overcome "self-doubt" about the country's role on the world stage.

PM Fumio Kishida urged Americans not to doubt the country's "indispensable" role in world affairs, and said Tokyo was undertaking historic military upgrades to support its ally.

President Joe Biden's request for $60 billion in aid for Ukraine, which passed the Democratic-led Senate with 70 per cent support in February, has been stalled in the Republican-controlled House as Speaker Mike Johnson has refused to allow a vote.

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