Growing unrest over mobilization of recruits in Russia leads to shooting at recruiting center | International

A shot at point-blank range in a recruitment center in Ust-Ilimsk, in the far east of Russia, has taken the tension in the country to another level since President Vladimir Putin decreed the mobilization of its civilians. A young man opened fire on Monday against the military official of the place, in the midst of a wave of attacks against these enlistment points, some of which have been burned these days. At the same time, protests are becoming more frequent in Russian provincial cities, far from cosmopolitan Moscow, where images of policemen being dragged onto recruiting buses by protesters have been seen.

“I am ashamed that this is happening at a time when we should instead be united. We must not fight against ourselves, but against real threats”, the governor of the Irkutsk region, where the shooting took place, has said on his social networks. “Military Commissar Alexander Vladimirovich Eliseyev is in resuscitation, his condition is critical and doctors fear for his life,” he added.

After shooting the soldier, the assailant, identified as Ruslán Zinin, warned the rest of the people present in the room to run away and pulled the trigger of his pistol again. According to what several eyewitnesses told the media Assetthe attacker, a 25-year-old unemployed man, had been summoned this Monday to be recruited, and before opening fire he said: “Now we will all go home.”

The mass mobilization decreed by Putin seven months after starting his war has caused panic and anxiety in Russian society. Sources from the Federal Security Service (FSB) told the independent newspaper jellyfish that some 260,000 men have left the country since last Wednesday.

The wave of attacks against recruitment points has intensified in recent days. In seven months, from the beginning of the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine until Putin’s announcement on September 21, 37 centers have been burned throughout the country. In recent days, at least 17 more fires have been recorded, according to the newspaper Mediazonedeclared a foreign agent by the authorities.

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molotov cocktails

One of the latest incidents took place in the city of Uriupinsk, in the Volgograd region. A man threw several Molotov cocktails at a recruitment point early Monday morning. The event was attributed to Mijaíl Filátov, a 35-year-old man and father of a girl who posted a video on YouTube where he said “this is how I turn on my protest”. Shortly after he was arrested.

According to the emergency services, the damage was minor and the documents of the site were not destroyed. This attack joins several more that have occurred in recent hours, most using Molotov cocktails, although the fire only destroyed a few rooms. In the Kirovsk region, neighboring Finland, an individual broke a window and poured fuel inside, while in the provinces of Kaliningrad and Mordovia they threw bottles impregnated with gasoline and fire.

Everyone knows people who have been mobilized or are trying to escape the country. “I left for Kazakhstan last night with my brother and a friend, I don’t know when they will return,” a young Muscovite told this newspaper on Monday. “The notification came to work, we don’t know what to do,” said another person about her cousin this Sunday, another of the most repeated phrases these days.

Many fear that the borders will be closed once the so-called annexation referendums in the Ukrainian-controlled territories end on Tuesday 27. However, some men have already been prevented from passing. The Agora lawyers’ organization disclosed on Telegram several notifications from the border forces in which “by order of the military commissariat” several men were prohibited from leaving the borders of the Caucasus.

The Russian media have asked Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, about the closure of the borders, who a couple of weeks ago categorically denied that a mobilization was going to take place. “At the moment no decision has been made,” he replied this time.

The representative of the Kremlin also recognized that the mobilization has not been adjusted to Putin’s announcement, although he blamed the local authorities for it. “There are situations in which the (mobilization) decree has been violated. These cases are being eliminated,” Peskov said. The Russian president announced that reservists with previous military experience would be called up, and this has not been the case, which has caused numerous protests in the provinces.

“Governors are actively working to correct this situation and our journalists and public organizations are doing much-needed work. [para denunciarlo]”, added Peskov in an attempt to calm things down. The OVD-Info portal, specialized in covering the repression of protesters, has recorded more than 2,300 arrests between September 21 and 25, most of them outside the capital. And the protests continue, especially in the regions with the most drafts, such as the Caucasus and Siberia.

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