Russia: Military officers press fire alarm to try lure men out
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Russian mobilisation authorities have resorted to desperate attempts to scare civilians out of their homes to hand them draft papers, footage shows. Vladimir Putin last week ordered the immediate mobilisation of 300,000 people in Ukraine.
This was the country’s first mobilisation since the Second World War.
The measure was supposed to be reserved for those with previous military experience only, with students and people with particular health conditions nominally excluded from the draft.
But reports have emerged across Russia of individuals not fitting the criteria being ordered into Ukraine.
It is perhaps partyl this that has driven many to leave the country, with flights from Moscow to countries such as Turkey, where Russians do not require visas, selling out in hours following Putin’s announcement.
Draft officials are said to be casting a wide net in their designated zones in order to meet mobilisation quotas.
Footage shared online has demonstrated one of the desperate attempts employed to ensure Russian civilians know they are expected to fight for their country.
A video published by Belarusian news outlet Nexta reports to show military commissars in Vladivostok turning on a fire alarm in a block of flats to lure men out of their apartments and hand them their draft cards.
Nexta said: “However, the residents of the house saw them on CCTV cameras and no one opened the door.
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“The commissars decided to hang the summons on the door.”
Earlier in the week, in Krasnoslobodsk, Volgograd region, a 63-year-old man with diabetes and at risk of strokes was drafted as part of Putin’s mobilisation.
He was called up with the promise he would solely be “assisting the military enlistment office.”
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The drafting of men supposed to be excluded from the mobilisation targets has not gone without notice, and has sparked a blame game among Russian institutions.
Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War told Interfax: “The Kremlin is deflecting blame for the Russian Government’s failure to abide by its own stated criteria for mobilisation and exemptions onto the failing bureaucratic institutions responsible for the mobilisation…
“The violations are clearly too common to be merely the result of individual errors, however, and Russian citizens can see them all too clearly.”
The head of Russia’s draft office in Altai went a step further, insisting that if anyone has been drafted by mistake, it is their own fault.
Hosts on state-run television channels have even demanded the shooting of over-vigilant draft officials.
Russian lawmakers, meanwhile, have insisted the border should be closed to prevent any attempt to dodge the draft.
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