The President promised holidays to everyone who is fighting in Ukraine. Commanders may not give them.
Last week, Vladimir Putin promised regular vacations to everyone who fights in Ukraine. According to the president, a vacation lasting at least 14 days, excluding travel time, should be provided at least once every six months – “so that each fighter has the opportunity to visit their families, stay close to relatives and friends.”
In reality, this can be problematic, military analysts and lawyers say. At the front, the issue of vacations is decided by the commanders, they can delay them, referring to military necessity. The same goes for rotation – replacing units at the forefront.
In normal times, contracted military personnel are entitled to leave at least 30 days a year. The longer the service life, the longer the vacation, a maximum of 45 days. It can be taken in parts, each of which must be at least 15 days. Also, military personnel can receive sick leave, study and creative leave, etc.
Putin, speaking about vacations, stressed that they are due to all participants in the war in Ukraine, including volunteers. The Telegram channel “Military Ombudsman” notes that the issue of holidays for mobilized has not yet been resolved by law. They can count on them not only on the basis of Putin’s words, but also on the basis of the decree on mobilization of September 21, in which the president equated the mobilized with the rest of the military.
The military lawyer, who asked to remain anonymous, told Important Stories that he has received many complaints about vacations since the start of the war. “Vacation is given, but very little and not for everyone,” says the lawyer. According to him, it will be problematic to fulfill Putin’s promise, as this will lead to a large outflow of the military. “In view of the tasks ahead, the commanders will put up obstacles. In addition, many do not return from vacations, ”the expert notes.
Head of the public movement “Citizen. Army. Right” Sergey Krivenko also talks about a large number of complaints about the lack of vacations. According to him, mostly vacations are given to the wounded.
Krivenko recalls that the military, who participated in hostilities for more than a month, are supposed to be rehabilitated in sanatoriums or rest homes. “Based on the results of the examination, they can additionally send for treatment,” says the lawyer. Krivenko says that he and his colleagues advise the military to write reports asking them to send them to rehabilitation, but they are ignored.
A lawyer from the Appeal to Conscience coalition notes that a vacation can be very important for those who want to refuse to participate in a war of conscience : “Being “behind the tape”, in Ukraine, it is very dangerous and difficult to fight for the right not to fight. But not returning from vacation and demanding alternative civilian or non-combatant service is much easier.” The expert expects that commanders will have the opportunity to delay vacations, citing the need to maintain the combat capability of units.
Military analysts believe that Putin’s promised holidays could create difficulties for the warring army. So, Yan Matveev wrote that with an even distribution of vacations on any day of the year, 11% of the military will rest. The expert proceeds from the size of the Russian grouping of 400,000 people: “For a grouping of 400,000 people, this is 44,000 people! For an army whose entire doctrine is based on numerical superiority and infantry assaults, this is an incredible amount.
Also, the Russian army may have logistical problems in order to send all vacationers home and then return them to units, Matveev said. In addition, in order to control the process, it will be necessary to increase the apparatus of military officials. “And it turns out that the Russian army simply won’t be able to take a vacation,” the analyst concludes.
Military expert Kirill Mikhailov also believes that the Russian army may not be able to cope with the bureaucratic burden. He notes that with the increase in the size of the army, its bureaucratic apparatus remained practically unchanged. “Where are these people who will write out vacations for everyone? The military cannot even be paid on time, let alone vacations, ”says the analyst.
At the same time, Mikhailov notes that after mobilization, in terms of numbers, the Russian army can afford to give military leave and rotate at the front.
The meaning of the rotation is to change the units that are at the forefront, sending them to the rear for a while.
“In the Russian army, rotation is carried out very poorly, there are signals about this from various sources,” military expert Matveev told Important Stories. According to him, the military is often withdrawn to a small distance from the front line, where they can still come under enemy fire. “Probably, even the very concept of “forefront”, “rear”, etc. legally it is extremely difficult to determine,” the expert says.
Rotation terms are not regulated in any way, two anonymous military lawyers say. According to one of them, it happens at the discretion of the command. At the end of September, the portal “Explain.rf” wrote : “The rotation of combat units will be carried out by decision of the command based on the operational situation.”
The Ukrainian army rotates much more frequently and on a larger scale, says Matveyev. According to him, entire brigades are regularly withdrawn from the front to replenish and restore. Mikhailov notes that the Armed Forces of Ukraine began using rotation last summer.