Since Vladimir Putin’s announcement that all young men with some military experience should fight in Ukraine, images show Russians being mobilized all over the country. After only two weeks of training, they already have to go to the front, as it turns out. In addition, the authorities would also call ‘unsuitable’ candidates.


    Sep 23 2022

    Latest update:

    The Insider, BBC

    The Russian president announced a partial military mobilization on Wednesday, declaring that he would call up 300,000 people, but only from the existing pool of military reservists. But according to leaked documents obtained by the independent Russian newspaper ‘Novaya Gazeta’, as many as one million men could be summoned. Students are excluded from this. But there are now indications that those guidelines are ignored in practice.

    Official criteria ignored

    A 26-year-old PhD student at a leading Russian university told the BBC that two men came to his home to summon him, despite his student status. The student, known only as Sergei, said he was confused by the call because he has no military experience at all.

    A 63-year-old man from the Volgograd region was also called, the independent Russian news site The Insider reported. The man, identified only as Yermolaev, has diabetes and a brain disorder. The Russian had previously served in the military, but is now retired. On Thursday, he was reportedly summoned to a medical research center where he was told by doctors that he is “fit enough to go to the front”.

    A video shared on social media shows a recruitment drive at an undisclosed location in Russia. © Twitter

    “Combing through villages”

    A man from Buryatia, a mountainous region in eastern Siberia, said recruiters were “combing out the villages.” “People say a lot of men are taken away regardless of the criteria. There are 400 people in our village, and they have taken 20 men,” the man, who was not named, told The Insider.

    A video shared on social media shows one such recruitment drive at an undisclosed location in Russia. In it, an officer yells at a room full of men that they are now soldiers and must go to battle after only two weeks of training. “Playtime is over, you are soldiers now,” it sounds. “Three days here. Then a flight. And then two weeks of training.”

    “Failing mission”

    “President Putin’s announcement to partially mobilize Russian citizens and call on them to fight in Ukraine reflects the Kremlin’s difficulties on the battlefield, the unpopularity of the war and the Russians’ unwillingness to join the fight.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

    “President Putin is not operating from a strong position; rather, this is another sign of its failing mission,” concluded Blinken.

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