Russian doctors’ union spokesman detained and drafted into army
Ivan Konovalov, the press secretary for the medical workers’ union “Doctors’ Alliance,” was arrested and drafted into military service in Arkhangelsk (northern Russia), the union’s leader, Anastasia Vasilyeva, told MBKh Media.
“He was arrested in Tula on Friday, he was driving with his mother [...] He was registered in Moscow, he didn’t receive any kind of summons, he was simply taken, and immediately [underwent] a medical examination. [We] lost contact with him, we didn’t know where he was, then we managed to find out that he was flying to Arkhangelsk that same day,” Vasilyeva said.
She added that Konovalov’s relatives and co-workers from Doctors’ Alliance were able to see him at the airport. “We are not against him serving [in the army], he is of military age, but [not] just like that. COVID-19 swabs are now mandatory, but [they didn’t do] the tests for hepatitis, HIV, or syphilis,” Vasilyeva said.
The Doctors’ Alliance medical workers’ union was established in the fall of 2018 with the help of opposition politician Alexey Navalny.
An employee of Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK), Artyom Ionov, was detained and drafted into army service in June. According to FBK, Ionov was not eligible for military service because he has asthma. FBK reported that he was sent to the Chukotka, in the Russian Far East.
In December 2019, FBK project manager Ruslan Shaveddinov was forcibly drafted into a Russian army military unit stationed on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. While the FBK maintained that Shaveddinov had been abducted, the military commissariat considered his recruitment legal.