In October 2022, Maxim Shelest, a 44-year-old resident of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, was mobilized despite having hepatitis C. The man arbitrarily left the unit two weeks later, and two months later the commission of inquiry opened a criminal case against him. In March 2023, a military garrison court sentenced Shelest to five years and three months probation and then he was ordered back to military service.
Maxim Shelest told RTVI that he was diagnosed with hepatitis C a few years after returning from military service. “I decided to go into military service on a contract basis, I started doing tests, I arrived at the blood station, I had to send analyzes, and they told me that I had Hepatitis C. That was in 2010, if not earlier. They didn’t take me to contract service, I went to get a job in the fire department, they also didn’t take me to because of my weight, and now I weigh 115 kg. And there, I became “contractual” thanks to a “big sweater”, without any commission”, he jokes.
The conscription summons within the framework of the partial mobilization is brought to Maxime on October 2. According to the document, the man was to report to the military registration and enlistment office two hours after receiving it. According to the Komsomol member, when he arrived at the scene, he was immediately sent to the unit without a medical commission.
“I thought there was a commission, everything would be as it should be. I arrive, and there is already a bus: “Everyone loads faster. They said the commission will be in part. They arrived at the unit, they say the commission was supposed to be at the military registration and enlistment office. <...> I explain to them that I have hepatitis C. They say: “Everything had to be decided there (at the military registration and enlistment office),” he recalls. At the same time, says Shelest, they never asked him for medical documents. According to Maxim, about two weeks after coming to the unit, he "grabbed himself from the side." Then he decided to return home, as he could not receive medical treatment in the medical unit there. “There was no way to get into the medical unit. I think, "I've gone home, I'm not going to die here." I went out through the checkpoint, calmly took a turn, arrived in Komsomolsk (on the Amur),” the man said. At home, Maxim began to see doctors: at the clinic he was sent for tests, and hepatitis C was confirmed, but they could not prescribe treatment, since there was no specialist infectious diseases in the staff of the district medical institution. Then the Komsomol member began to look for a paid specialist and undergo examinations. “Here they call me from the commission of inquiry and say that a criminal case has been opened against me. I left my job and came. First they sent me to the military medical commission in the hospital before the New Year. I was lying there, they wrote to me that no injuries or illnesses under category "D" had been found,” Shelest explained. "They concluded I had category B, because category D, as they explained to me, if it's for hepatitis, then there must be cirrhosis of the liver, and if it's for the heart, then there must be a heart attack," he said. During the investigation and trial, Maxim was sent to a military unit, where he stayed for about a month. At the same time, as a mobilized man, according to him, he received no remuneration. On March 6, the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Garrison Military Court sentenced him to five years and three months of imprisonment under Part 5 of Art. 337 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on the unauthorized abandonment of a unit for more than a month. The court took into account that the man had not hidden from the investigation, had pleaded guilty, was also raising two minor children and had never been convicted. The Komsomol member believed that he was no longer subject to conscription, since the presidential decree "On the announcement of partial mobilization" among the grounds for dismissal from service included, among other things, a court verdict imposing a imprisonment. However, Shelest was explained that he had no right to be fired, as he was given a suspended sentence. “I went to the military prosecutor's office to draft an appeal. They started pushing me away, but I wrote a plea anyway so they could understand. I sat for three months, while the investigation and the tribunal were, no one paid me a penny. The appeal was accepted. I explain to them that I have a family, children, I have to feed them (Maxim is married, raising a 14-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter. - ed. approx.). What they say this part owes me. Usually they all push each other,” he said. In addition to family obligations, Shelest also has credit: he and his wife took out a mortgage, which a wife left without the support of her husband, and working in an aircraft factory with a salary of 30,000 rubles, can't pay. On March 22, Maxim received an order to report to the Knyaz-Volkonskoye settlement (about 360 km from Komsomolsk-on-Amur) with a subsequent departure to the unit. In the document received, he is listed as a soldier and in part he was "placed as a mortar commander", the man claims. As the interlocutor of RTVI said, in the fall of 2022, while in a military unit, he saw this artillery gun only once. At the same time, Shelest served in the railroad troops as a radiotelegraph operator. “My lawyer said I should have had none of this: no trial, even at the military registration and enlistment office (there was a medical board), and I would have said I had hepatitis. They took all my documents, my medical card - for a personal matter," he said. On March 23, Maxim Shelest plans to come to the unit to write a letter of resignation, and in case of refusal, he intends to receive a paper with justification and "write on it."
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