Heavy-handed mobilization in Russian region: “Everyone gathers”

Heavy handed mobilization in Russian region Everyone gathers

Published: Just now

Men are dragged out of their beds in the middle of the night, students are picked up by the police in classrooms and in some villages all the men on site are rounded up and sent away.

This is how soldiers are mobilized in Russian Siberia.

– You sweep up everyone you can, in order to fulfill the plan, says a woman in the region of Buryatia.

What the plan for Putin’s mobilization for the war in Ukraine actually looks like is a state secret. Defense Minister Sergej Shoigu has mentioned the figure of 300,000 men. In the law text on the mobilization, point seven is shrouded in secrecy, but according to the newspaper Novaja Gazeta Europa, it states that one million may be mobilized.

The president’s speech about “partial mobilization” is also contradicted by how it works in reality. Not so much in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where it seems mainly men with military experience are called up, just as the law says – although there are glaring exceptions.

fullscreenMilitary police lead away students gathered for mobilization. They were picked up in classrooms at the university in Siberian Ulan-Ude. Photo: The Village

But out in the country’s regions the situation is completely different. Reports are pouring in of indiscriminate mobilization. The region of Buryatia east of Lake Baikal in Siberia is particularly vulnerable.

– We received a verbal order to pick up mobilized people in their beds, put them in buses and take them to the mobilization office, says an administrative official in Buryatia to the newspaper Ljudi Bajkala.

In Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia, the National Guard and military police arrived at the university at 7:48 a.m. Thursday, rounded up students in classrooms and bussed them away for mobilization, according to The Village newspaper.

“Gathered together indiscriminately”

Other Buryat men were picked up in their home villages:

– The villages are vacuumed on men. They are gathered together completely indiscriminately, regardless of their experience. Our village has 400 inhabitants, here they brought 20 men. They had intended to take more, but since the rest of the men are out in the forest harvesting cedar trees, they could not find more, says a woman to the magazine The Insider.

full screen A hundred mobilized people are waiting to be flown away from Siberian Magadan. Photo: Telegram channel Sirena

There are also reports from other regions about substandard handling of mobilized people.

About a hundred men gathered in Siberian Magadan to be sent away in an Antonov-12 transport plane were told that “it will be cold” on board.

In the sub-republic of Dagestan, an employee of the enlistment office in the village of Babajurt tried to convince a group of men of the necessity of mobilization, according to a video that posted by Telegram channel Astra:

– My son has been there since the beginning, he has been fighting since February, says the mustering woman.

– He didn’t need to, replies one of the men.

– Yes, it was necessary, the woman replies.

– Go yourself, I don’t intend to go, replies a man.

When the woman compares the situation to the mobilization during World War II and says that her father fought then, a man replies:

– If we have to fight for the motherland, I will go. But this is just about politics.

full screen Loud discussion at the mobilization office in the village of Babajurt in the sub-republic of Dagestan. Photo: Telegram channel Astra

Later on Thursday, a national road in Dagestan was blocked by a group of residents who were critical of the mobilization.

The local orders published by war commissars around Russia differ from what they look like in the big cities. For example, they are more strongly formulated in the regions of Tatarstan, Dagestan and Yakutia than in Moscow, according to BBC Russian.

The regions hardest hit

It is also Russia’s regions that have been hardest hit by the war in Ukraine so far. The number of known deaths among soldiers from the Russian regions far exceeds those from Moscow. Britain’s BBC is counting the death toll continuously, as best it can, as there are no credible official figures.

Most deaths so far come from Dagestan (278) and second most from Buryatia (256). Only nine of the dead soldiers in Ukraine come from Moscow, according to the BBC’s compilation.

full screenDrunken man mobilized in Siberia rambles forward. Photo: Telegram channel Sirena

The pressure on men who are called in is fierce, regardless of where they live. The day before Putin’s mobilization on Wednesday, the Russian parliament passed tougher laws for those who refuse to fight. It says, among other things, that “in times of mobilization or armed conflict” deserters can be sentenced to between 5 and 15 years in prison.

Drunken men ramble on

Several videos in social media show how men who were mobilized drank way too much. In a film clip from the island group Kuriles in the Pacific Ocean, some heavily intoxicated men hump each other before departure. In another clip from Siberia, a mobilized man trudges forward. To reduce alcohol consumption in connection with the mobilization, alcohol sales have been temporarily banned in the Zabaykal region of Siberia.