When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization, he stressed that only those with military experience would be among the 300,000 called up reservists. But that’s not the case. Apparently, a number of people unfit for work, such as sick people, students, fathers of underage children, as well as nurses and midwives, have already been called up, reports the AFP news agency, among others.
For example, the authorities in the southwestern Russian region of Volgograd sent a former military man to a training camp. But the 63-year-old is diabetic and in poor health. In the same region, a school principal received a call-up order despite having no military experience. Both were apparently allowed to go home again and were therefore able to report about it. The British “Guardian” had already reported that letters had been distributed during class to young students who had no military experience whatsoever.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted to mistakes in recruitment. “Indeed, there are cases where the decree (of President Vladimir Putin) is violated,” he said on Monday, according to the Interfax agency. “We hope that the pace of elimination will increase and that all errors will be corrected.”
Federation Council leader Valentina Matviyenko, in a rare admission, has urged all governors in charge of mobilization campaigns to avoid mistakes. “This is unacceptable! Ensure that the partial mobilization is carried out in full and complete compliance with the criteria. And without a single mistake!” she ordered on Telegram. The region’s governor Vladimir Avdeyev said that “everyone who was mobilized in error will return home”. The errors are presented as individual cases.
But even pro-Kremlin voices are apparently annoyed by the chaos. The editor-in-chief of the state broadcaster RT, Margarita Simonyan, writes on her Telegram channel: “It has been announced that privates can be recruited up to the age of 35. The subpoenas go to 40-year-olds,” says Simonyan. “They piss people off like they’re doing it on purpose, like they’re doing it out of malice. As if they had been sent from Kyiv.” Valeriy Fadeyev, head of the Kremlin’s Human Rights Council, had also called on Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to “resolve problems urgently” in order to avoid “undermining the trust of the population,” AFP quoted as saying .
He mentioned the recruitment of 70 fathers of large families in the Far Eastern region of Buryatia, as well as nurses and midwives without any military training. Fadeev said these recruits were drafted “under threat of criminal prosecution.”
Detained protesters protesting the mobilization said police gave them draft papers while in detention, ordering them to report to the very services they were complaining about.
But just the fact that the Russian authorities are talking about it suggests that sections of the population are outraged. As a result, Russia announced on Saturday that it would be replacing its highest-ranking general, who is responsible for logistics during the mobilization campaign. The Russian language has already gained a new word: “Mogilizazija” – a mixture of the terms “mobilization” and “grave”.
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