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Conscription Crisis: Putin’s Plans Suffer as Recruitment Officer Shot At, Old People Asked to Report to Duty

By: News Desk

Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

News18.com

Last Updated: September 26, 2022, 15:45 IST

Moscow, Russia

Russian cops detain a person after protests against the mobilisation of reservists ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia (Image: Reuters)

Russian cops detain a person after protests against the mobilisation of reservists ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia (Image: Reuters)

From Finland to Georgia, Russian men from the nation’s remote and poorest regions are evading the call for mobilisation, signalling waning support for the war in Ukraine

Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilisation last week asking people with “relevant" skills or military experience to be conscripted into the army for the next phase of the so-called ‘military operation’ in Ukraine.

Those plans have taken a hit after Russian authorities accepted that older or sick people were mistakenly ordered to report for duty. Public discontent followed after reports surfaced that a certain resident from Volgograd was ordered to report for duty. He was a 63-year-old diabetic ex-military staffer who suffered from poor health and cerebral issues.

The AFP reported that a 58-year-old school director Alexander Faltin from Volgograd received a call-up order despite having no military experience.

Following these incidents, upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko called on all governors to avoid mistakes, in a rare act of admitting that errors were made.

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“This is unacceptable… Make sure that partial mobilisation is carried out in full and complete compliance with the criteria. And without a single mistake!,” Matviyenko was quoted as saying by the AFP.

But in some cases, conscription calls were met with hostility. A video which went viral on social media showed a man firing and injuring a recruitment officer at an enlistment center in Siberia on Monday. The incident occurred in Ust-Ilimsk in Irkutsk in southeastern Siberia.

The injured man is now in a critical condition, Irkutsk governor Igor Kobzev said. “I am ashamed that this is happening at a time when, on the contrary, we should be united. We must not fight with each other but against real threats,” he added.

Putin’s call for a partial mobilisation of reservists has been met with panic and demonstrations, with hundreds detained across Russia.

In the town of Altanbulag, which falls on the Russian border with Mongolia, long lines of vehicles were seen at a border crossing. An AFP report said that more than 3,000 Russians had entered Mongolia via the crossing, most of them males. At least 17,000 people entered Finland via the land border over the weekend and close to 9,500 left.

“The main reason is the mobilisation but it is also partly explained by the fact that both Finland and Russia eased Covid-19 restrictions during the summer,” Finnish authorities said.

Russians can enter and stay up to a year without a visa in Georgia and scores of Russians have fled to Georgia because they do not want to be dragged into an ‘illegitimate, fratricidal’ war. Georgian authorities said there were at least 2,300 cars waiting to reach the border.

In the southern region of Dagestan, 100 people were arrested by the authorities for a protest against Moscow’s troop mobilisation. The Kremlin critics say these conscription drives are only conducted on Russia’s poorest, most remote regions since carrying it out in urban centres will likely cause outrage.

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first published:September 26, 2022, 15:44 IST
last updated:September 26, 2022, 15:45 IST