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Russia recruited 17-year-old diabetic man and untrained people to fight in Ukraine, reports say – a sign of desperation

A giant pro-military mural in Moscow on September 22, 2022.Getty Images

  • Putin announced that some Russians would be forced to fight in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

  • The new decree is meant to affect only those with prior military training.

  • Reports suggest this is being ignored in a scramble to bolster the Russian war effort.

Russia is recruiting obviously unsuitable candidates in a scramble to bolster its military in Ukraine, according to multiple reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization on Wednesday, pledging to call up 300,000 personnel, but only from the existing pool of Russian military reservists.

Conscripts and students would not be drafted and the new decree would only affect those who already have combat experience, Russian officials added.

However, evidence is emerging that these standards are ignored in practice.

A 26-year-old doctoral student and lecturer at a prominent Russian university told the BBC this week that two men showed up at his house to recruit him, despite his status as a student.

The student, identified only as Sergei, told the BBC he was confused by the call as he had no military experience.

A 63-year-old man from the Volgograd region was also drafted into the mobilization, the independent Russian news site The Insider reported. (The outlet has no connection to Insider.)

The man, identified only as Yermolaev, has second-degree diabetes and a brain condition known as cerebral ischemia, The Insider reported. Yermolaev previously served in the retired army.

On Thursday, he was again summoned to a medical examination center where doctors told him he was “fit to go to the front”, reported The Insider.

Insider could not independently verify the accounts.

“People say a lot of men are taken away, regardless of the criteria”

While Russian officials have promised that only those with military experience will be called up, a clause in Putin’s mobilization decree means the norm can be ignored at any time, experts said.

A man from Buryatia, a mountainous region in eastern Siberia, told The Insider that recruiters were “scouring the villages”.

“People say a lot of men are taken away, regardless of the criteria. There are 400 people in our village, and they took away 20 men,” the man, who was not named, told The Insider.

A video shared on social media showed such a recruitment drive at an unnamed location in Russia. In it, a recruiting officer shouts to a room full of men that they are now in the army and will be sent into combat after only two weeks of training.

A BBC journalist tweeted Friday that a 17-year-old boy was conscripted after being arrested during an anti-war protest in Moscow, and shared a document saying so. The minimum age to be drafted into the Russian army is 18 years old.

Russian conscription obliges men between the ages of 18 and 27 to serve one year in the army.

“President Putin’s call to partially mobilize Russian citizens, urging them to fight in Ukraine, reflects the Kremlin’s struggles on the battlefield, the unpopularity of the war and the reluctance of Russians to fight in it,” he said. said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement. statement.

“President Putin is not operating from a position of strength; rather, it is another sign of mission failure.”

Read the original article on Business Insider


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