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.< /strong>
The Ministry of Defense announced at the end of October that this mobilization launched on September 21 had come to an end, putting an end to a process which cast a 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,” Tatiana, whose nephew was called up in early October in Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, told AFP.
“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 Ivanteevka, 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. refuse to fight: up to ten years in prison.
According to Anna, her son-in-law spent nearly 100,000 rubles (over $1,000), seven times the Russian minimum wage, for a bulletproof vest, uniform, warm clothes, boots and other gear.
On social networks, calls for donations have multiplied to help conscripts buy this equipment, which should in theory be provided by the army.
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 27th motorized brigade. .
These men, mobilized for the most part in the Moscow region, “trained only twice between September 23 and October 3” before being sent to the front where they underwent heavy losses, according to Anastasia Kachevarova, one of these journalists.
Deployed in the Lugansk 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 mobilized survivors.
The spokesperson for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, questioned by AFP during a briefing press, indicated that the Kremlin would “verify” this information. An investigation has been launched by the military prosecutor's office.
Among the dead of the 27th brigade is Timour Ismaïlov, a 33-year-old computer scientist who should have been exempted from service in the army.
“Mobilized on September 23, he found himself on October 7 in the combat zone” and died on October 13 under mortar fire, said his lawyer Konstantin Erokhin on his Telegram channel.
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According to him, the military commissariat n did not receive in time the list of employees of banks exempted from mobilization drawn up by the Central Bank and on which appeared Timur Ismailov.
“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 committee of the lower house of parliament 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 abuses have in any case heightened the concern of young men fearing being mobilized even without having military experience, who have been many to flee to neighboring countries, or even further afield, especially to Turkey.
To the point that former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev raised the subject on social media on Friday, describing these men on Telegram as “cowardly traitors”.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128