The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, announced the mobilization of some 300,000 reservists in a context marked by the war in Ukraine. Putin linked the decision with the aim of protecting Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also ensuring the safety of citizens of occupied Ukrainian territories.
Here are the main aspects of the measure decreed by the head of the Kremlin:
. The Russian army has more than two million people, half of whom are technical and administrative personnel.
. During the 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 mobilization will affect 1% of the total. Among those mobilized, there will be specialists who work in public companies.
. Russia rules out that students over the age of 18 can be mobilized, referring to university students and those undergoing vocational training.
. The reservists could be legally deployed in Donbass and the occupied territories of southern Ukraine if the Kremlin accepts their entry into Russia after the integration referendums that these territories will organize from Friday.
. The Duma or Lower House on Tuesday approved amendments to the penal code that toughen prison sentences for soldiers for surrender and desertion without justification in the event of mobilization or martial law up to 10 years.
. Failure to comply with direct orders from a superior to engage in combat or military action can also be punished by up to ten years in prison.
. Male conscripts can only leave service for health reasons, if they reach the maximum age for military service, or if a civilian court orders their incarceration.
. According to some local media, a majority of Russians are opposed to the Kremlin declaring general mobilization, even though, according to official polls, two-thirds of the people of this country support the military campaign.
. Shoigú today acknowledged the deaths of nearly 6,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine since the so-called “special military operation” began in Russia in February.
. The pacifist movement Vesná (Spring) has called for a national demonstration against the mobilization to prevent fathers, brothers and husbands from being sent to the “meat grinder of war”. More than 1,400 people have been arrested during the protests.
. Last March, the Russian president had banned the sending to the front of young Russians who were doing their compulsory military service.
. According to human rights organisations, the army has deployed thousands of conscripts to military units near the Ukrainian border in recent weeks.