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Glukhov – a runaway sergeant against his will?2009-03-18 17:39
Alexander Glukhov, a junior sergeant of the Russian Army, asked for political asylum in Georgia and won't be handed over to Russia until the issue is considered, Deputy Interior Minister of Georgia Shota Utiashvili told RIA Novosti today.
"The case of sergeant Glukhov" has recently become a topic of the real propaganda war between Moscow and Tbilisi. As all the arguments of the Georgian side on Glukhov's voluntary transfer to the territory of Georgia are frustrated by one simple fact: the runaway sergeant's mother has not been able to meet her son yet.
According to ITAR-TASS the assistant to the commander-in-chief of the Russian Land forces colonel Igor Konashenkov stated this: "There was no meeting between junior sergeant Alexander Glukhov and his mother as the representatives of the Georgian law-enforcement authorities had not brought her son to Eredvi for that meeting".
Georgian Interior Ministry in its turn disseminated information that the mother had not seen her son as Russian militaries did not allow her to "leave Tskhinval for Tbilisi to meet her son".
Even for such a minor issue (in comparison with the state affairs) as organization of a meeting between two relatives the Russian and Georgian sides could not come to terms. The former states that Galina Glukhova was afraid to go to Tbilisi and asked to appoint the meeting closer to the territory of South Ossetia. However Rustavi-2 TV featured Alexander saying he would like to see his mother in Tbilisi. "I won't go to Tskhinval, it is unsafe there", - he was quoted by numerous media.
The Russian side assured that the Georgian officials hampered the return of sergeant Glukhov forcing him to commit a penal act - desertion. According to the assistant to the commander-in-chief of the Russian Land forces colonel Igor Konashenkov, as newsru.com reports, the military unit command "doesn't hold it against him": "for the time of his service he has been performing his duties faithfully". Konashenkov said Glukhov should come back to his subunit and continue his service.
As for Glukhov's desertion the Russian Ministry of Defense stated he had been captured by Georgian special services and moved to Tbilisi where moral or physical pressure had been put on him. Then the official version changed and there has been no explicit position of the Defense Ministry to Glukhov's story yet. The situation has changed again.
According to Interfax a criminal case for desertion has been initiated against Glukhov. This fact was confirmed by Chief Military Prosecutor of Russia Sergey Fridinsky.