Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has announced the mobilization of some 300,000 reservists in a context marked by the war in Ukraine. Putin linked the decision to the goal of protecting Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also to ensure the safety of citizens of occupied Ukrainian territory.
These are the main aspects of the measure set by the head of the Kremlin:
. The Russian army consists of more than two million men, half of whom are technical and administrative personnel.
. During partial mobilization, 300,000 reservists will be called up.
. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu estimated that 25 million Russians with military experience could be mobilized. Partial integration will affect 1% of the total. The conglomerates will include experts who work in state-owned companies.
. Students over 18 years of age in Russia can be grouped together, referring to university students and those studying in vocational training.
. Conservatives could be legally deployed in the occupied territories of Donbass and southern Ukraine if the Kremlin accepts their entry into Russia after a reunification referendum starting on Friday.
. The Duma, or lower house, on Tuesday approved amendments to the penal code that toughen prison terms for soldiers for surrendering and deserting without justification in cases of conscription or martial law of up to 10 years.
. Failure to obey a direct order from a superior to engage in war or military activity can lead to up to ten years in prison.
. Enlisted men could only leave the service for health reasons, if they reached the maximum age for military service or if a civilian court ordered them to serve a prison sentence.
. According to some local media, most Russians oppose the Kremlin’s declaration of a general assembly, although two-thirds of the country’s residents support the military operation, according to official polls.
. Shoigu today acknowledged the death of nearly 6,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine since Russia’s so-called “special military operation” began in February.
. Peace movement Vesna (Spring) has called for a national protest against mobilization to prevent fathers, brothers and husbands from being sent to the “meat grinder of war”. More than 1,400 people were arrested in the protests.
. Last March, the Russian president banned sending young Russians to the front doing mandatory military service.
. According to human rights groups, the army has deployed thousands of soldiers in military units near the Ukrainian border in recent weeks.