Putin says mistakes in military mobilization must be corrected

  • This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that “all mistakes” made in a call-up to boost Russia’s military operation in Ukraine should be corrected, in his first public admission that the “partial mobilization” he announced last week had not gone smoothly.

There were widespread public expressions of discontent from officials and citizens about the way the mobilization was handled, including complaints about enlisting officers sending summons papers to clearly unqualified men.

Thousands of men fled Russia to avoid conscription, which was described as conscription with military experience and required disciplines, but they often appeared oblivious to the individuals’ service history, health, student status, or even their ages.

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Some 2,000 people have also been arrested in unauthorized anti-war protests in more than 30 towns and cities, and some were given summons papers on the spot – something the Kremlin said was perfectly legal.

“In the context of this mobilization, many questions arise, and all errors must be corrected and prevented from happening in the future,” Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting via video link in Sochi, Russia on September 27, 2022. Sputnik / Gavril Grigorov / Paul via Reuters / File Photo

“For example, I think of the parents of many children, people with chronic illnesses, or those who are past the military age.”

Russia’s September 21 announcement of its first general mobilization since World War II drew criticism from official Kremlin supporters, almost unheard of in Russia since it sent its army into Ukraine seven months ago.

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“They infuriate the people, as if on purpose, as if they were defiance. As if they were sent by Kyiv,” Margarita Simonyan, the pro-Kremlin editor-in-chief of Russia’s state-run channel RT, said on Saturday. .

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov acknowledged on Monday that some of the summons were issued in error, saying that regional governors and the Defense Ministry were correcting mistakes.

Putin has noticeably refrained from blaming the errors – either to the ministry, led by his close ally Sergei Shoigu, or to regional officials tasked with deciding on the exactness of the summons.

Shoigu said last week that Moscow plans to recruit only 300,000 people. The Kremlin later denied a report by the independent Novaya Gazeta Europe that an undisclosed clause in Putin’s mobilization decree called for one million reservists.

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Reporting by Reuters. Written by Kevin Levy. Editing by Philippa Fletcher

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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