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War in Ukraine | Relatives of Russian soldiers denounce “the chaos” of the mobilization



(Moscow) Forced to buy their own equipment or sent to the front without suitable training: in Russia, relatives of reservists called up to fight in Ukraine denounce the “chaos” of the mobilization decreed by the Kremlin.

The Ministry of Defense announced at the end of October that this mobilization launched on September 21 had ended, putting an end to a process which shed harsh light on the logistical difficulties of the army.

“We had to buy the uniform, the equipment, the medicine ourselves. In training, it was complete chaos, everything was very badly organized, “said AFP Tatiana, whose nephew was mobilized in early October in Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow.

“All we are shown on (Russian) TV is flan. We have the impression that the decision to mobilize was taken suddenly and that no one was ready”, adds this woman who wishes to conceal her family name for fear of reprisals, in a country where those who criticize the army risk the jail.

Anna, a resident of Ivanteïevka, northeast of Moscow, is still stunned by the mobilization of her son-in-law. They both have family in Ukraine.

“Our relatives are under bombs in Dnipro and he will have to go and kill in our native country,” she breathes, tears in her eyes. “He is against the war. But he has no choice: it’s the front or prison,” she adds.

Shortly before the mobilization, the Russian deputies toughened the punishments for those mobilized who refuse to go and fight: up to ten years in prison.

According to Anna, her son-in-law spent nearly 100,000 rubles (nearly $2,200), seven times the Russian minimum wage, for a body armor, uniform, warm clothes, boots and other gear.

On social networks, calls for donations have multiplied to help conscripts buy this equipment, which must in theory be provided by the army.

Brief training

Faced with the scale of the dysfunctions, it is impossible to ignore the reality: in mid-October, three Russian military correspondents, who are nevertheless known for their support for the offensive against Ukraine, published the edifying story of the mobilized soldiers of the 27e motorized brigade.

These men, mostly mobilized in the Moscow region, “trained only twice between September 23 and October 3” before being sent to the front where they suffered heavy losses, according to Anastassia Kachevarova, the one of these reporters.


Deployed in the Luhansk region (eastern Ukraine), annexed in September by Moscow, “they found themselves under crossfire from their own artillery and that of the enemies”, according to the correspondent.

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

The spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, questioned by AFP during a press briefing, indicated that the Kremlin would “verify” this information. An investigation has been launched by the military prosecutor’s office.

Among the dead of the 27e brigade features Timur Ismailov, a 33-year-old computer scientist who should have been exempted from service in the army.

“Mobilized on September 23, he found himself in the combat zone on October 7” and died on October 13 under mortar fire, his lawyer Konstantin Erokhin said on his Telegram channel.

According to him, the military commissariat did not receive in time the list of bank employees exempt from mobilization drawn up by the Central Bank and on which Timur Ismailov appeared.

“Correct” the shot

The Kremlin has admitted “errors” in the context of the mobilization with cases of mobilized suffering from serious illnesses, exceeding the regulatory age or being fathers of several young children.

Nearly 10,000 people mobilized by mistake have been sent home, according to the head of the lower house of parliament’s committee for defense, Andrei Kartapolov.

Mr. Peskov nevertheless assured that “the energetic measures taken to correct the situation are giving initial positive results”.

To improve the supply of equipment to soldiers, the Kremlin notably announced the creation on October 21 of a “Coordinating Council” headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Michoustine.

These drifts have in any case reinforced the concern of young men fearing to be mobilized even without having military experience, many of whom have fled to border countries, or even further afield, in particular to Turkey.

To the point that former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev raised the subject on social media on Friday, calling these men “cowardly traitors” on Telegram.


Dmitry Medvedev

Russia was “stronger and cleaner” without them, he wrote on Russian Unity Day, a holiday introduced by President Vladimir Putin in 2005 to celebrate a 1612 victory over Polish invading forces.

“We have been abandoned by frightened, caring people.” “Cowardly traitors and greedy defectors have fled to distant lands, leaving their bones to rot abroad,” said this close friend of Vladimir Putin.

Tens of thousands of Russians fled the country when President Vladimir Putin launched war on Ukraine on February 24.

A second wave started when Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization of 300,000 reservists on September 21.

Since the Kremlin sent troops to Ukraine, Dimitri Medvedev, 57, has been posting increasingly anti-Western messages on social networks.

Mr. Medvedev, who was president from 2008 to 2012 and then prime minister from 2012 to 2020, is currently deputy chairman of Russia’s powerful Security Council.

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