CHELYABINSK, Russia -- At a press conference in the western Russian city of Chelyabinsk, four women said that they had to kidnap their sons from their military unit in order to "save them from a beating," RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
The young men were drafted into the Russian Army this summer and spent only three days in their military unit in eastern Siberia.
They decided to flee the unit after being beaten by senior soldiers.
The four soldiers were not at the press conference and their mothers refused to discuss their whereabouts, saying that they are undergoing medical check-ups.
The Military Prosecutor's Office is demanding that the young conscripts return to their military unit, insisting that no beating ever took place.
Cases of desertion have been filed against the soldiers.
The women are refusing to allow their sons to return to the army and have asked the media to help them.