Moscow mayor says draft is complete, St Petersburg fires call head According to Reuters

© Reuters. Men enlisted in the Russian army during a partial mobilization say goodbye to their relatives and acquaintances outside a military commission in Moscow, Russia September 23, 2022. Moscow News Agency / Handout via REUTERS

By Felix Light

LONDON (Reuters) – The mayor of Moscow on Monday said military mobilization in the Russian capital was now complete while St Petersburg fired the official in charge there, the latest sign of problems with the draft. chaotic and unpopular for the war in Ukraine.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin thanked the Muscovites for their patriotism and told the departing soldiers in a blog post: “We will hope and pray that you stay alive and well. return.”

He said gathering points in the capital were closed on Monday afternoon and draft papers issued earlier to men who have not reported their obligations will no longer be valid. Opposition activists reacted furiously on social media.

State news agency RIA reported that St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov fired the official in charge of the call there, but did not give a reason for his dismissal.

Moscow and St Petersburg, Russia’s two largest cities, have been the traditional centers of anti-Kremlin opposition, and in recent years have been the scene of the largest anti-Putin and anti-war protests in recent years.

President Vladimir Putin announced what he called a “partial deployment” on September 21 that would bring 300,000 servicemen into the armed forces, amid a series of military failures in Ukraine.

The order has sparked outrage across the country, with a series of violent attacks on local draft offices and more than 2,000 arrests for participating in anti-fan demonstrations.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of men of military age have left the country, most heading to countries like Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan, which maintain visa-free regimes for Russians.

Russian authorities have admitted to “mistakes”, with elderly or inexperienced men receiving scratch paper by mistake. Putin said last Friday that the call would end within two weeks and there were no plans to raise more.

Moscow Mayor Sobyanin has established himself as a leader in cutting excess deposits, demanding payments to the families of trustees, and correcting cases of mistaken deposits.

However, opposition activists on Monday accused Sobyanin of lying and said the men were still at risk of being called up. On Twitter, Maria Pevchikh, an aide to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, wrote: “Sobyanin hasn’t finished mobilizing yet. He wrote a blog post. That’s all. Blog letters. Don’t let cheated.”


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