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Russia begins recruiting reservists to fight in Ukraine

A group of reservists say goodbye to their relatives in Yakutsk, Eastern Siberia. Twitter

Thousands of citizens flee the country to “not die in a senseless fratricidal war”

A day after announcing the mobilization of 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine, Russia begins to enlist them. Thousands of citizens across the country have started receiving recruitment papers and some have even been bussed to military bases for training. “On the first day of partial mobilization, some 10,000 citizens came of their own free will to the recruitment offices,” said Vladimir Tsimlyanskui, a spokesman for the General Staff.

“They informed me that I had to report to the Rassvet CDC at 4 in the morning and here we are, waiting for the order,” says Vitaly, one of the recruits in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia, in southern Siberia. . This man did military service in the Far East “a long time ago,” he stresses. Now 38 years old with two young children, he fears what lies ahead. According to the Russian media ‘Arigus’, the recruits will only be sent to the front when they acquire the necessary knowledge.

Emotional farewell to the reservists in the city of Neryungri. /

@poli_golobokova

The images of the farewell to the first recruits from their relatives in some Russian cities, such as Neryungri, have begun to go viral on social networks. Through tears, the reservists say goodbye to their loved ones to face an uncertain future at the front, not knowing if they will see each other again.

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The military commissioner of the republic, Alexander Trubnikov, explains that citizens who have received a summons are obliged to appear at the collection point indicated in the letter. On the back of it he details the documents to carry: passport, military ID, toiletries and bank account details to receive the monetary allowance after being sent to a military unit. Then the training will proceed and “only after complete preparation, the acquisition of certain skills, will military personnel be sent on a combat mission,” Trubnikov ditches.

“A Peskov will not go to the front”

Despite the obligation to appear indicated by the Commissioner and the Russian Government, it seems that the rules are not for everyone. Or so Nikolai Peskov, son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitri, thinks. “Being a Peskov, it is not right for me to be there,” said the 32-year-old, referring to fighting on the front lines. Although his words were sincere, the call to recruit him was not. In a video that has gone viral, a blogger has a phone conversation with Nikolai in which he poses as an Army recruiter.

“A summons has been sent to you today,” says Dmitri Nizovtsev, host of ‘Popular Politics’, a YouTube channel created by members of the circle of imprisoned Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalni. “In it, there is a number that you have to call and tomorrow, at 10:00 in the morning, you have to report to a call center,” he continues live. Young Peskov, concerted for a moment, replies: «Obviously I won’t go. You must understand that, being a Peskov, it is not correct for me to be there».

“I don’t want to go to the front”

The calls began hours after the Kremlin chief’s speech, at the same time that thousands of other citizens fled the country by any means. “I don’t want to go to the front. I don’t want to die in this senseless fratricidal war,” said Dmitri, 45, upon arriving in Armenia. The borders of Finland or Georgia have also suffered traffic jams. However, the authorities have assured that, although traffic has “increased somewhat” (4,824 Russians have crossed the border into Finland compared to 3,133 who did so last week), the situation is “stable” and is “under control” .

Germany, for its part, is willing to welcome “whoever bravely stands up to the Putin regime and thus puts himself in great danger, can apply for asylum for political persecution.” The Federal Minister of the Interior, the Social Democrat Nancy Faeser, underlines in the interview that Germany has been hosting persecuted or threatened Russian dissidents for months and comments that the “increasingly brutal aggression of Russia against Ukraine” is accompanied by a growing internal repression, especially against the press, human rights defenders and opponents.

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The “unlimited contempt” of the Russian president for human lives “does not stop even before the soldiers themselves,” says the social democratic policy, which has the support of the other two partners of the tripartite government in Germany, green and liberal. Thus, the federal Minister of Justice, the liberal Marco Buschmann, declared this Thursday that “it seems there are many Russians who are now leaving their homeland. Whoever hates the Putin way and loves liberal democracies is welcome among us in Germany.”

Meanwhile, humanitarian organizations, such as the network of war objectors Connection, have warned of the dangers of the partial mobilization ordered by Putin to reinforce his Army with 300,000 more men. “No one between the ages of 18 and 60 can be sure that they will not be recruited,” says Rudi Friedrich, Connection spokesman in the Funke group newspapers, stressing that his organization currently receives many calls from Russians living in Germany concerned about their relatives in Russia. “There is very little clarity about who is going to be recruited and who is not, or not yet,” says Friedrich, who demands flexibility from the German authorities when granting asylum and not claiming “formal documents such as the call-up.”

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