Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Says Iranian Soldier Flees To Armenia Over Religious Discrimination

Russian authorities say an Iranian soldier has fled to Armenia, citing religious discrimination in the Iranian army.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said on April 27 that the soldier, born in 1992, was detained while illegally crossing the Armenian-Iranian border on April 25.

Armenia's borders with Iran and Turkey are guarded by some 4,500 Russian border guards, whose agency is part of the FSB.

The FSB said the Iranian soldier, whose name was not revealed, said that he was defecting to Armenia because he is a Christian and had faced discrimination from Muslim fellow soldiers.

Russian border guards handed the defector to Armenian investigators.

Based on reporting by and Interfax

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.