Professional soldiers went to war first. Voluntary enlistment campaigns were then intensified to increase the firepower of the advance guard in the Ukraine. Later the recruitment won the prisons throughout the country with the promise of amnesty in the face of the numerous casualties on the front. Now the partial mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin to cover the deficit of fighters after 8 months of conflict comes with a juicy offer: wages of $3,500, aid to cover mortgages and bank loans.
The Kremlin needs 300,000 new soldiers to fight in the east and south of Ukraine, where he aspires to annex large separatist territories now occupied by his troops. The Russian General Staff announced this Thursday that some 10,000 people voluntarily presented themselves to be mobilized in the last 24 hours, amid complaints of compulsive enlistment of protesters who participated in the protests this Wednesday in 38 cities in the country to oppose the recruitment.
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Even the government was involved in a scandal after the well-known opposition youtuber Dmitri Nizovtsev telephoned Nikolai Peskovson of the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, posing as a recruiter who officially communicated his enlistment. The young man mentioned his last name, said that he would not go to the call and warned that he would resolve his situation “on another level”.
Meanwhile, the tension over Putin’s announcement is felt especially at the borders. Thousands of Russians are leaving the country for Finland, Armenia, Georgia and even Mongolia for fear of being drafted into reservists to fight in Ukraine.
The Kremlin launches a juicy incentive package to entice Russians to go to war
To seduce the Russians, the Kremlin has an ace up its sleeve. “I think there will be a lot of people who want to go to the army. Those mobilized will receive around 3,500 dollars per month. The government also promises to partially cover the loans and mortgages of these people “who enlist to fight in Ukraine, he told TN analyst and researcher George Filatovprofessor at the Institute of Universal History of the Moscow Academy of Sciences.
“But we are going to see if the authorities keep their promises,” he said.
For now, some 10,000 people showed up in the last 24 hours to join the army of their own free will in the different recruitment offices “without waiting for their call,” he told the agency. Interfax spokesman for the General Staff, Vladimir Tsimlyansky.
Oppositionists denounce compulsory enlistments to go to fight in Ukraine
In social networks, different videos were viralized in which men are seen hugging with their families in emotional farewells before joining the army. the siberian site Taiga.info published images of four buses parked in front of a stadium in the city of Neriungrí, in Yakutia, the Far East, which were collecting dozens of reservists.
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But relatives of demonstrators who participated in Wednesday’s protests denounced compulsory enlistments. A Muscovite detained with her husband told The Moscow Times that some protesters received citations to join the army at the police station after their arrests. “There was a military recruiting officer who gave detained men draft notices,” he said.
The complaint clashes with the official version that the mobilization is aimed only at reservists with military experience. Even the Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigusaid that students and young people completing compulsory military service will be exempt from mobilization.
But the protests do not stop. Recruitment offices and an administrative building were attacked overnight on Wednesday in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, 440 kilometers east of Moscow, in Saint Petersburg and in Togliatti, about a thousand kilometers east of the capital.
The Russians fear their compulsive recruitment and ask human rights organizations for advice: “The panic is enormous”
In this context, fear grows among men between 18 and 60 years of being compulsively recruited. Human rights groups said they were overwhelmed by the consultations. “panic is huge“, said Sergei Krivenkodirector of the NGO Citizen, which provides legal assistance to Russian soldiers.
“Previously, we had about 50 requests a day, but in the last two days we have received 14,000,” he told The Moscow Times.
Thousands of Russians cross borders to escape enlistment
Thousands of subpoenas began to be delivered this Thursday across the country, a day after the protests that rocked several Russian cities. the independent organization OVD-Info He said that in total there were 1,321 detainees. From the ruling party they maintain that the protests are marginal and point out that some 4,500 people participated in a country of 145 million inhabitants.
In that context, thousands of Russians began to cross the borders to avoid enlistment. Plane tickets to countries where Russians do not need a visa, such as Armenia, Turkey or Azerbaijan, are practically sold out. Others began a long drive. The flow of vehicles on the highway leading to neighboring Finland increased 57% in the last 24 hours, the Finnish Border Guard reported.
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In Georgia there is talk of kilometric queues of cars to enter the country. witnesses cited by EFE they said the queues stretch for 40 kilometers. Similar news comes from Kazakhstan. The Kremlin rejected these versions, saying they are “very exaggerated”.