Posted 7 августа 2023,, 12:17

Published 7 августа 2023,, 12:17

Modified 7 августа 2023,, 15:37

Updated 7 августа 2023,, 15:37

Ex—prisoners — SMO fighters: who will clarify their status and future?

Ex—prisoners — SMO fighters: who will clarify their status and future?

7 августа 2023, 12:17
Ирина Мишина
How many prisoners are in the SMO zone today and in what status are they? None of the official authorities has this data. Meanwhile, such a category of people who are currently on a special operation is quite significant. The State Duma finally asked about their status.


Is all information classified?

Social networks are full of panicked comments from relatives of prisoners fighting in the special operation zone. There are no messages from them. In particular, the relatives of former prisoners are perplexed: if earlier, being prisoners, citizens received some kind of allowance, part of which was sent home, albeit a little, but still… With their departure to the zone of their own payments and transfers home stopped. We tried to call the «hotline» of the Ministry of Defense to clarify where we can get information about the whereabouts of former prisoners. We had to listen to Russian folk tunes for more than 15 minutes, after which a strong-willed male voice informed us: «No one will give you information about prisoners in the SMO zone. They can only inform you that your relative is in the „Assault Z“ unit. In captivity, a relative is wounded or missing, we can see. About the death, you need to write to votsapp to the number +7 988 992 3536.

To our calls and inquiries in The Presidential Human Rights Council has not received any responses, as well as from other human rights defenders.

However, on Monday, this issue was raised in the telegram channel of State Duma Deputy Maxim Ivanov, who arrived from the SMO zone.

As the deputy wrote in his Telegram channel, the status of such fighters is not clear today: the «hotline» of the Ministry of Defense does not have information about former prisoners, military enlistment offices, too, because they are removed from military registration. As a result, relatives cannot find out about the place of service and get certificates, and due to the lack of data, they do not understand the mechanisms of payments for injury, death, compensation for funerals, and so on.

«I turned to Andrey Turchak, the head of the United Russia party working group on the interaction of authorities and support for the participants of the SVO, to determine the mechanisms for bringing relevant information to the family members of the participants of the SVO from among former prisoners, contractors of the Ministry of Defense, » Ivanov said.

What is the allowance of former prisoners and whether to wait for a pardon?

We contacted Deputy Maxim Ivanov. Here's what he explained to «NI»:

«A relative of a prisoner sent to the SMO zone contacted me through social networks, he did not get in touch for a long time. At her request, I contacted the military unit, they gave instructions to the commander, the former prisoner sent an audio message to his relatives. No one reports on the whereabouts of the fighters, this is a state secret. The information is classified. There was also a question of receiving allowances for this category of fighters. We want to find out where their salary goes, how they are provided. There are fragmentary unverified data, but we want everything to be for this category of fighters according to all the rules of the game. There is also a question whether such a fighter will be pardoned. After all, such people, in fact, atone for their guilt with blood».

The question of what status the former prisoner is fighting in is also not clear. State Duma deputy Ivanov suggested that the former prisoners have a contract with the Ministry of Defense, but in one copy.

On all these issues, Deputy Ivanov sent a question to Military Prosecutor's Office. As soon as the answer is received, we hope to inform readers.

It is worth adding that it is extremely difficult to get information about the fate of people fighting in the SMO zone at all. It is enough to read, for example, Maria Malykh's message on the VKontakte social network. The fighter's mother, in particular, writes:

«On 28.09.22, the son was mobilized. Until today, the payments amounted to 5,700 rubles. They wrote to the prosecutor's offices of Yekaterinburg, Orenburg, this is the part to which they are assigned. Unsubscribes, as under a carbon copy. Accepted, wait. System failure. Wait until 25.12, everyone will be paid. I can't believe it already. Half, about the payments were. The others must wait. They are one of the first who were sent without any retraining. I am not a working pensioner, 13t thousand pension, in October–November I sent my son 35t.p. These are my three pensions, these are debts. It's just a cry of the soul, where to turn? The request is huge, maybe you can help with something. We need a resonance, otherwise no one will move».

And yet who are they: prisoners or fighters?

Of course, no one is going to violate military secrecy. But explanations are needed at least on the most general issues. And the most important: military prisoners — who are they? Prisoners or fighters?

Less than two years have passed since the beginning of the SMO, as deputies began to ask not very convenient questions about the status of voluntary-compulsory participants in hostilities. And the law on the accelerated recognition of the deceased missing in the war was adopted only in April of this year. As for the former inmates, today the authorities, apparently, do not have a clear understanding even on the removal of a criminal record, not to mention everything else. But at the moment these people are the same fighters.