The inadequacies caused the Russian mobilization order to cause waves

In the early days of deploying the order to mobilize troops in Russia, there were many shortcomings, causing the country’s officials to warn about the risk of social unrest.

Ruslan Zinin, 25, on September 26 caused panic at the recruitment office in the town of Ust-Ilimsk in the Irkutsk province, southern Russia, when he opened fire and fatally wounded the officer in charge. This is the first shooting related to Russia’s military recruitment since President Vladimir Putin issued a partial mobilization order, mobilizing about 300,000 reservists to enlist.

The mobilization order, issued on September 21, is seen as an attempt by Moscow to replenish troops for the military operation in Ukraine. However, the process of making the call to enlist in the following days revealed many controversial inadequacies and discontent in Russian society.

In Sakha, a republic under the Russian Federation in the Far East, local officials recorded many cases of people who were not eligible to enlist under the order of mobilization and still received calls. The agency in charge said there was a mistake in the deployment of the call-up order for reservists.

“Every wrong call must be sent home. The agency in charge is making adjustments,” Aisen Nikolaev, leader of the Sakha Republic, announced on Telegram after a meeting about President Putin’s mobilization decree. .

New recruits from the 154th Preobrazhensky Regiment practice moving in a three-row formation with the Russian flag, at a training ground in Moscow in June 2021.  Photo: Russian Defense Force.

New recruits from the 154th Preobrazhensky Regiment practice moving in formation at a training ground in Moscow in June 2021. Image: BQP Nga.

Due to inconsistent implementation steps from central to local, since the decree was implemented from September 21, the Russian Ministry of Defense and relevant agencies have issued a new circular almost every day to clarify the cases of military service, which citizens are exempt from military service, increase border control to prevent citizens from being mobilized abroad.

The problems in the implementation of the mobilization order caused a lot of turmoil in Russian public opinion, with even the Kremlin supporters voicing their criticism.

“The notice says the age of enlistment could be up to 35, but the summons now applies to 40-year-olds. They’re making people angry, as if it were a deliberate act of defiance.” editor RT Margarita Simonyan, one of the Kremlin’s staunch supporters, posted on Telegram over the weekend.

There has been a flurry of reports that many men with no military experience or old enough to enlist have also received summons, leading to protests.

On September 25, two leaders of Russia’s parliament admitted that the process of mobilizing the reserve forces had a series of errors, including many cases of mistakenly calling up the army. They asked the Russian military to quickly reorganize the recruitment apparatus and deploy mobilization orders in accordance with the law.

“These serious mistakes are unacceptable. Personally, the harsh reaction from people over the past time to the current way of working is completely justified,” said Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Council. Federation (ie the Russian Senate), commented.

Matviyenko said that the responsibility for the implementation of the mobilization order should be left entirely to the governors and leaders of the republics of Russia and that the implementation process should comply “closely with the published criteria”. Speaker of the State Duma (Russian lower house) Vyachesslav Volodin also stressed that any mistaken enlistment orders should be corrected immediately.

Russian military observers said that the nationwide recruitment effort is putting a lot of pressure on the logistics management system of the Russian army, including the transfer of troops and ensuring equipment in the rear. and frontline.

In an effort to ensure effective and orderly mobilization of forces, the Russian Defense Ministry removed General Dmitry Bulgakov, 67, from his position of deputy minister in charge of military logistics. This task was handed over to Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, 60 years old.

General Mizintsev is a former director of the Russian Center for Defense Management, more knowledgeable than his predecessors about modern logistics, when he was assigned the task of coordinating cooperation between the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on solving problems. Syrian refugee issue.

He also has a certain understanding of the reality of the Ukrainian battlefield when he was responsible for leading the operation to besiege Mariupol, the last port city of the Ukrainian army in the territory of Donetsk province.

President Putin speaks in the city of Veliky Novgorod, northwestern Russia on September 21.  Photo: AFP.

President Putin speaks in the city of Veliky Novgorod, northwestern Russia on September 21. Image: AFP.

Moscow also tightened the management of the reserve force, reducing the number of citizens in the army who dodged the call. President Putin on September 24 signed a number of decrees amending the Criminal Law, increasing the penalty for all cases of evading service in the context of the application of a partial mobilization order, a general mobilization order, martial law or a period of time. war.

Under the new rules, Russian citizens who evade military service or fail to present themselves as required can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Soldiers surrendering, stealing during martial law, wartime, armed conflict or combat will also be criminally responsible.

Many Russians have sought to leave the country after the government issued an order to mobilize troops. More than 8,500 Russians arrived in Finland on September 24 by road, an increase of about 62% from a week ago.

During a discussion at the United Nations over the weekend, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained that the situation of citizens going abroad had many mutations simply “because in Russia everyone has the right to freedom of movement”.

Observers said that the inadequacies in the initial stage of deploying the mobilization order in Russia were partly due to the vague wording in the original decree. In theory, the Russian military considers millions of discharged conscripts to also be reservists.

Although Putin’s decree emphasizes that the military will prioritize the selection of former professional soldiers and those with combat experience, the concept of “reserve forces” makes experts estimate that the Russian Defense Ministry can mobilize. more troops than the target. In addition, the number of 300,000 mobilized troops is the number mobilized to participate in combat, while the number of citizens called to report and train is not clearly mentioned.

Russian media in recent days have reported many cases of citizens who have no military experience and are over the age of enlistment, still receiving calls to present themselves. The governor of Buryatia, which borders Mongolia and where many Russian citizens of Mongolian origin are living, confirmed that some people had been called up for military service even though they had never served in the army or were in poor health.

Valery Fadeyev, chairman of the Russian Human Rights Council, an agency directly under the Kremlin, wrote to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, asking to “urgently solve” the shortcomings arising in the implementation of the mobilization order. .

He openly criticized the edict enforcement units for not complying with the criteria for exemptions from conscription. He pointed out that some men who worked as nurses or midwives and had no military experience were forced into the army.

“Some military recruits knock on people’s doors at 2 a.m., asking them to present themselves, as if they think everyone is a draft evader,” Fadeyev wrote, and suggested tweaking the system to avoid further errors. act and cause unrest in society.

Name (Theo CNN, TASS, Al Jazeera)

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