MAXIM MAKUSHIN, Evangelical Christians (Murmansk, Russia)

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Maxim Makushin

Maxim Vladimirovich Makushin, Pentecostal Christian, contract soldier who served twelve years in the Arctic port city of Murmansk.

Makushin “openly spoke about his refusal to participate in the war for religious reasons, including to an Orthodox judge who ridiculed his faith,” an acquaintance of his told the human rights organisation, Forum 18, on 2 October 2023.

The military prosecutor’s office accused him of «failure by a subordinate to comply with an order from a superior given in the prescribed manner during martial law, in wartime, or in conditions of an armed conflict or hostilities, as well as refusal to participate in military or hostilities,» because he «refused to kill Ukrainians,” an acquaintance living abroad wrote on Makushin’s social networks on 29 September 2023.

On 28 September 2023, the Murmansk Garrison Military Court found Makushin guilty under Article 332, part 2.1 of the Criminal Code. Judge Vladimir Titarenko sentenced Makushin to two years and eight months in a penal colony.

An acquaintance of Makushin said that the believer is now at home awaiting the consideration of his appeal. Appeals are considered by the Military Court of the Northern Fleet. On 4 October, the human rights organisation, Forum 18, asked the Murmansk Garrison Military Court about the reasons for not supporting Makushin’s constitutional right to alternative civilian service, given that the Constitution should take precedence over other laws. As of the end of business day in Murmansk on 9 October, Forum 18 had not received a response.