In just one year, nearly 3,000 cases have been brought before Russian military courts involving soldiers who have defied President Vladimir Putin's orders to fight.
Now, for the first time, a woman has been sentenced. Madina Kabalojeva, who is pregnant, was sentenced to six years in a penal colony by a military court in Vladikavkaz for defying Putin's 'partial' mobilization orders, according to various Russian and international media outlets, including Kommersant and DOXA.
The sentence will be postponed until 2032, when her eldest child turns 14. Kabalojeva claims that a military doctor advised her to leave the service due to her pregnancy and having a five-year-old child, but the prosecution did not accept this.
Her lawyer, Roman Rabadanov, believes the court's decision is illegal and plans to appeal.
After Putin ordered mobilization, sanctions were tightened. What previously resulted in a maximum of five years in prison was suddenly doubled.
New sanctions were also added, making 'unauthorized surrender' punishable by up to ten years in prison. According to Mediazona, three times as many people have already been sentenced since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"It's not surprising that Russian men don't want to die at the front. When you see that convicts are being taken out of prison to serve as soldiers, it also shows how far Russia is willing to go to find soldiers and that there are recruitment problems." says Peter Viggo Jakobsen from the Defense Academy in Denmark to Norwegian newspaper VG.