War in Ukraine: “All we’re shown on TV is flan”, some Russians condemn mobilization’s “confusion”

Last September, Vladimir Putin’s Russia announced the mobilization of Russian reservationists. A total of 318,000 Russians have been mobilized for the war, the Russian president said on Friday.

“We had to buy uniforms, equipment, medicine ourselves. In training, it was complete chaos, everything was very poorly organized,” told AFP Tatiana, whose son-in-law was mobilized in Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, in early October.

“All we’re shown on (Russian) TV is flan. In a country where critics of the military go to jail, this woman, who wants to withhold her family name for fear of reprisals, has the impression that the decision to mobilize was sudden and nobody was prepared.

Anna, who lives in Ivanteïevka, northeast of Moscow, is still stunned by her nephew’s mobilization. They both have family in Ukraine.

“Our relatives are under bombs in Dnipro, he must go to our own country and kill,” she breathes, tears in her eyes. “He was against war. But he has no choice: it’s front or jail,” he adds.

Just before the mobilization, Russian representatives toughened the penalties for those who refused to go and fight for the mobilized: up to ten years in prison.

According to Anna, her son-in-law spent nearly 100,000 rubles (over 1,600 euros), or seven times the Russian minimum wage, on a bulletproof vest, a uniform, warm clothes, boots and other equipment.

On social networks, calls for donations to help those who are forced to buy this equipment, which in theory should be provided by the military, have proliferated.

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Brief training

Faced with the scale of the malfunctions, the truth cannot be ignored: In mid-October, three Russian military correspondents who were known to support the offensive against Ukraine published an upbeat story of soldiers mobilizing on the 27th. Motorized force..

According to one of these correspondents, Anastasia Kachevarova, the men, who were mostly mobilized in the Moscow region, “trained only twice between September 23 and October 3”.

Deployed in the Luhansk region (eastern Ukraine), annexed by Moscow in September, “they found themselves under fire from their own artillery and the enemy,” says the reporter.

The information was confirmed anonymously to AFP by a relative of one of the survivors.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, questioned by AFP during a press conference, indicated that the Kremlin would “verify” the information. An investigation has been initiated by the Military Prosecutor’s Office.

Among the dead of the 27th regiment was 33-year-old computer scientist Timur Ismailov, who should have been exempted from service in the army.

“Demobilized on September 23, he found himself in the war zone on October 7” and died in a mortar fire on October 13, his lawyer Konstantin Erokin said on his Telegram channel.

According to him, the Military Commission did not receive in time the list of bank employees exempted from mobilization drawn up by the Central Bank, in which Timur Ismailov appeared.

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