Soldier, who spent five years as slave, arrested for desertion

A solider, who returned home from slavery, was arrested in Russia’s Lipetsk region. The young man was listed as missing in the republic of Dagestan for five years. It turned out that the commanders of military unit No. 6752 stationed in the republic’s capital, Makhachkala, handed the conscript to the owners of a private brick factory. The serviceman became their slave.

The soldier, identified as Anton Kuznetsov, said before his arrest that he had escaped with six other soldiers, but other slaves remained at the factory, The Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper wrote.

Anton Kuznetsov joined the army on November 22, 2003. He returned on March 2009 and went to the commandant’s office. The soldier was arrested and will be put on trial for desertion.

His grandmother told the newspaper that Anton Kuznetsov had been enrolled in spite of the fact that he was her legal guardian. She showed several letters, which Anton managed to send from his unit in Makhachkala. The young man wrote that officers took a group of soldiers to the brick factory and made them work there from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“If we drop some bricks, they beat us brutally. Their bricks are the most precious things that they have. If we make less than required (3,000), they won’t let us eat and just beat us instead,” the young man wrote on March 1, 2004.

Anton Kuznetsov’s grandmother told the newspaper that she arrived at her grandson’s unit in Dagestan in September 2004. She spoke with military officials, but could not do anything else. Anton’s life worsened considerably soon after she left. He could not send letters home anymore.

Anton deserted from the military unit in the spring of 2005. He said that he was simply left at one of the objects, at which he was working. There were many other soldiers like him there, he said.

The soldier’s grandmother said that Alexander Korobov, the military attorney of Lipetsk, ordered to take Anton under custody. The official told the woman that he did not believe the stories about soldier slaves and brick factories. No one even had a look at Anton’s letters, the woman said.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov