A Russian soldier died by suicide at a training center in the country’s Sverdlovsk region around two weeks after he was mobilized for war, according to reports.
The conscript, identified as 46-year-old Vladimir Potanin, was found dead Saturday morning in the canteen of a tank training center that was operated by a military unit near the village of Poroshino, independent Russian investigative outlet The Insider reported, citing statements from Baza and Astra.
Potanin, who was from Russia’s southern Kurgan region, had two slashes on his neck. A blade was also found next to him.
The soldier died by suicide, according to preliminary reports.
Potanin was drafted on Sept. 26, five days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced troop mobilization in Russia.
The mobilization, which was the first such initiative in the country since World War II, sought to call up 300,000 people, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
However, Russia may draft up to 1.2 million conscripts, an unnamed source close to one of Russia’s federal ministries told the news outlet Meduza.
Putin’s mobilization sparked protests across Russia, and it also led to an exodus of Russians to neighboring countries, including Belarus, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia.
Around 261,000 have left Russia after Putin declared mobilization, Russia’s Federal Security Service said.
Around 47% of Russians aged 18 or over felt anxious and scared following the announcement, a poll released Thursday by the Levada Centre, an independent Russian research organization, found.
Another 13% felt anger, while 23% expressed pride in Russia, the results of the survey showed.
Russia has been accused of sending conscripts to the front line in Ukraine without any training.
Additionally, there have been reports of men who should be ineligible for the draft being summoned, leading to growing criticism over the mobilization.
“Such excesses are absolutely unacceptable, and I consider it absolutely right that they are triggering a sharp reaction in society,” Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, said in a statement in response to the reports.
The lawmaker claimed that Russia’s regional governors had “full responsibility” for implementing the draft.
Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, Russia’s lower chamber, also expressed his concerns.
“Complaints are being received. If a mistake is made, it is necessary to correct [it]. Authorities at every level should understand their responsibilities,” he said.
Putin acknowledged in a televised address Thursday that “mistakes” have been made with regard to the mobilization.
“[A]ll mistakes must be corrected and prevented from happening in the future,” Putin said.
If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.