From City Hall to the Frontlines: Mayor Joins Ukraine Conflict

By Riddy10 3 Min Read

The head of the city of Bolshoy Kamen in Primorsky Krai, Rustyam Abushaev, who was put on the federal wanted list in March 2023 on charges of fraud, has made a surprising announcement.

In a video posted on his Telegram channel, Abushaev claimed to be at the front in Ukraine, fighting alongside Russian-backed separatists.

In the video, the wanted mayor can be seen standing in military uniform, holding a sniper rifle in his hands against the backdrop of a destroyed building.

Abushaev stated that he had made the decision to go to war after meeting with families of fallen soldiers before March 8. However, he did not mention his criminal prosecution in the video.


Following the release of the video, Dozhd TV attempted to contact Abushaev on social media, but received no response. The press service of the Investigative Committee for Primorsky Krai clarified that Abushaev is still on the wanted list.

According to investigators, Abushaev’s office provided two plots of land to a disabled and labor veteran on the De-Vries peninsula and in the village of Klyuchevoi as fictitious property.

The land was later divided into 22 plots and transferred to third parties. The investigation also alleges that the mayor ran a commercial company illegally.


Abushaev’s announcement comes as a draft law has been submitted to the State Duma, which would exempt Russians going to war in Ukraine from criminal liability for minor and moderate crimes.

From City Hall to the Frontlines: Mayor Joins Ukraine Conflict

While the bill has not yet been adopted, Russian courts are already mitigating punishments for war veterans.

The situation is complicated, as Abushaev’s decision to go to war may be seen as a desperate move to escape prosecution for his alleged crimes.

At the same time, the proposed law may incentivize more Russians to fight in Ukraine, which would further destabilize the already tense situation in the region.


It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold, and whether Abushaev will return to face the charges against him.

In the meantime, his decision to go to war has raised many questions and concerns.


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