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Russian authorities reportedly conscripting refugees from Mariupol

Source: Verstka

Authorities in the Russian city of Lipetsk have begun conscripting refugees from Mariupol, according to the independent Russian outlet Verstka.

Ukrainian refugees currently living in Lipetsk told journalists that draft orders were served to men from Mariupol who were working at the Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant. According to the refugees Verstka spoke to, the men had previously been granted Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure. The regional military commissariat reportedly didn’t ask the men whether they served in the Ukrainian army.

One woman from Mariupol told Verstka that a 25-year-old refugee who she met at a temporary accommodation center was recently sent to the front after receiving a Russian passport. “Sending people to war who have just escaped war is awful,” she told the outlet. “My husband and I don’t want to receive Russian citizenship on principle. We’re still hoping to leave. But after the referendum, Mariupol has supposedly joined Russia. Does that mean we’re automatically Russian citizens, and our men are also liable to be mobilized?” she said.

A representative of the Lipetsk regional military commissariat refused to answer Verstka’s questions over the phone, claiming questions could only be answered in person. The Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant’s press service told journalists that no refugees had been served draft orders.

Thinking inside the box

Increasingly desperate for manpower in recent months, Russian authorities have started tapping a “resource” the country has plenty of: prisoners. If you think that sounds like it would have obvious drawbacks, you’re right.