A staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to send the families of war opponents to the front lines in Ukraine amid reports that college students are being dragged out of classrooms and older reservists with severe disabilities are also being called up.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov warned there could be consequences for protesters, including dozens of women in Grozny, Chechnya, who took to the streets over Putin’s order to mobilize 300,000 reservists.
“Some people write that it is necessary to act against partial mobilization. Under these conditions, nobody should discuss the decision (of Putin), but must abide by it, so I urge everyone not to engage in nonsense,” Kadyrov said in a video on Telegram, Newsweek reported on Friday.
“And those who go out (to protest) are enemies of the people,” he continued.
Kadyrov said three of the women have sons who are currently fighting in Ukraine, and he suggested their other male family members “should also be in the area where Russia is conducting the special operation.”
The women – who were all arrested, according to local reports – made up just some of the roughly 1,300 protesters arrested in dozens of cities across Russia since partial conscription was announced on Wednesday.
Kremlin officials have said only reservists with relevant combat and service experience will be called to arms and that partial mobilization would not apply to full-time students.
However, reports are now circulating in Russian media that students have been removed from lecture halls at Buryat State University in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the poor Siberian Republic of Buryatia.
An unnamed student at the school told local news outlet The Village that 10 to 15 National Guardsmen and MPs appeared on campus on Thursday to “take students straight out of class,” independent newspaper Mediazona reported.
The outlet released a video, which could not be independently verified, allegedly showing officers arriving at the university to round up young men.
In Buryatia, a mostly rural region around the southern shore of Lake Baikal, the mobilization has resulted in some men being drafted regardless of their age, military history or medical history, according to interviews with residents, rights activists and even testimony from local officials.
Buryat rights activists suspect the burden of mobilization – and of the war itself – is on poor ethnic minority regions to avoid sparking widespread anger in the capital Moscow.
Such was the outcry over mobilization in Buryatia, however, that Governor Alexei Tsydanov issued a statement on Friday clarifying that those who had not served in the army or who had medical exemptions would not be mobilized, although he admitted that some notices had been convened given to such men.
In the event of errors, one should “simply inform the representatives of the military service at the collection point by submitting documents”.
“There is nothing biased about the mobilization in Buryatia,” said Alexandra Garmazhapova, president of the Free Buryatia Foundation, an organization that provides legal assistance to the mobilized. “They take everyone”
Her foundation collected hundreds of calls for help from residents whose loved ones had received mobilization papers. Many of them are in their 40s and have health issues that should keep them out of service, she said.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 residents of the region were drafted into the first night of conscription, Garmazhapova estimated. She said that in many cases, officers distributed subpoenas during the night.
Aryuna, a 19-year-old student in Ulan-Ude who asked that her surname be withheld, showed Reuters a photo of draft papers handed to her father, a 45-year-old journalist who had never served in the army, on Thursday were because of his short-sightedness.
Similar cases have been reported elsewhere in Russia since the partial draft was announced.
Aleksandr Ermolaev, a 63-year-old lieutenant colonel in the reserve who has diabetes and cerebral ischemia – a brain injury resulting from impaired blood flow to the brain – told Russia’s V1.ru news agency that he got his paper drafts in the field Volgograd on Wednesday evening and was ordered to report to a draftee collection point seven hours later.
According to Ermolaev, who served in the military for 35 years before retiring, doctors found him fit to fight after a medical exam, after concluding that his ailments would not affect his ability to fight.
“I told them that I’ve gotten older, that they even said on TV that people over 55 don’t get drafted,” Ermolaev said. “Under threats of criminal charges, they forced me into a uniform and, contrary to all statements by the Secretary of Defense, forced me to go to the Prudboy training ground where I am currently staying.
“Now I’m waiting to be shipped to I don’t know where.”
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, senior officers up to the age of 55, as well as those with brain injuries and diabetes, are exempt from duty.
News of the draft prompted military-age Russian men to flee to neighboring countries including Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Finland and Georgia, where videos showed traffic jams at border crossings.
Flights from Russia were sold out for the next few days, although one-way airline tickets started from $5,000 apiece.
With post wires
https://nypost.com/2022/09/23/putins-crony-threatens-to-send-protesters-relatives-t-o-war-amid-draft-chaos/ Putin’s cronies are threatening to send the demonstrators’ relatives to war