Thousands of men across Russia are now receiving draft notifications to join the country’s forces in the war in Ukraine, according to a report.
This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a partial mobilization of reservists in hopes of shoring up Moscow’s army in Ukraine. The order would initially call up 300,000 reservists.
Immediately after Putin’s announcement, men across Russia began receiving their drafting notices. Several reservists got orders to report by telephone, according to The Washington Post. Apart from the reservists, a number of Russian men who were arrested Wednesday after joining a demonstration protesting against Putin’s mobilization orders were also conscripted into the military, according to multiple reports.
In a video shared by The New York Times, droves of Russian men were seen saying goodbye to their loved ones before being loaded into buses.
While Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu have said that only men with previous military experience would be called up, some men who received draft notices have never spent any time in the armed forces, including a father of five children residing in the Siberian city of Ulan-ude and a student who had a military exemption, as reported by The Moscow Times.
Apart from Putin’s partial mobilization effort, Russia may soon call up immigrants from Central Asian countries who have held Russian citizenship for less than 10 years to do compulsory military service for Moscow for a year.
“We are preparing proposals for new citizens of the Russian Federation who have Russian citizenship for less than 10 years to do compulsory military service for a year for people from Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan,” Human Rights Council of Russia member Kirill Kabanov wrote on Telegram Thursday, as translated by CNN.
“Refusal to perform military duty should entail the deprivation of Russian citizenship not only for a person liable for military service, but also for members of his family,” Kabanov added.
Russia’s efforts to bolster its troops in Ukraine come as Kyiv continues to gain ground amid its counteroffensive operations. Since early September, Ukraine has reportedly retaken 6,000 square kilometers of territory from the Russian forces.
At least 55,510 Russian soldiers have also been killed in the war so far, as per estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.