Russia: Putin’s allies fear “excesses” in mobilization struggle

Russia: Putin’s allies fear “excesses” in mobilization struggle

(Reuters) – Two senior Russian lawmakers on Sunday criticized Russia’s mobilization campaign for reservists, demanding local officials check the situation and quickly end the “excesses” that have angered the population.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partially military mobilization order sparked several protests across the country and prompted mobilization-affected men to flee, leading to border traffic congestion and airport rushes.

According to testimonies and information, people who did not perform military service were issued drafts, while Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured that only people with special military skills or combat experience would be called up to join the army.

Pro-Kremlin figures have therefore publicly voiced their concerns.

Valentina Matvienko, who is said to be close to Vladimir Putin, said she was informed that men had been conscripted even though they were ineligible for mobilization.

“Such excesses are absolutely unacceptable. And I think it’s absolutely normal that they evoke a strong reaction in society,” she wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

In a message to the regional governors – who she says have “full responsibility” for the implementation of the mobilization – she wrote: “Ensure that the implementation of the partial mobilization is carried out in full and absolute compliance with the established criteria. Without the slightest mistake”.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Duma, the lower house of parliament, also expressed his concern.

“Complaints are being filed,” he said.

“If a mistake is made, it must be corrected (…) The authorities at all levels must be aware of their responsibility.”

According to the Russian authorities, 300,000 Russians are involved in the mobilization campaign. And the Kremlin has denied mobilizing more than a million people.

NGOs claim that more than 2,000 people have been arrested during demonstrations against the mobilization.

(Reuters report, French version Matthieu Protard)


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