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Moscow men ambushed and drafted near subway stations. Draft office denies these reports.
Journalists and human-rights activists are reporting that police officers have stopped and questioned men near Moscow metro stations, collected their data, and handed them draft letters.
The Telegram channel Ostorozhno, novosti (“Beware the news”) published a string of photos and videos with police on duty near the the metro stations Maryina Roscha, Novokosino, Alekseyevskaya, Altufyevo, Botanical Garden, Bibirevo, and Shchelkovskaya.
One of the videos shows police officers checking a man’s documents. The person recording calls this an “ambush”: the police are, apparently, “stopping all the younger guys” passing by the subway entrance.
Similar situations were reported in St. Petersburg, where the Mayor’s office prefers to call this the work of “notification groups.” There, brigades made up of local officials, police, and draft officers wait for people at the entrances to their apartment buildings.
Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Russian Human Rights Council answering to the President, says that he has heard complaints from the Moscow transportation authority (MGTS) about the “raid on draft dodgers” near Moscow’s Shchelkovskaya metro station. According to an MGTS employee detained by the draft brigade, its members were “grabbing everyone and demanding to see their written proofs of exception.”
Andrey Klishas, who heads the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation, replied to Kabanov’s publication by calling for all such reports to be fact-checked and, if confirmed, followed up with a legal inquiry:
It’s not permissible to grab everyone off the street — and then decide at the draft office whether a citizen meets mobilization criteria. And it’s certainly unacceptable to sort this out after sending a citizen to the assembly point.
Moscow’s military commissariat denies reports of draft letters being handed out by subway stations. According to the city’s military commissar Maxim Loktev, the “ambushes” had nothing to do with mobilization and are part of regular “investigative activities” “for catching criminals.” Loktev acknowledged, though, that draft dodgers fall within the scope of this law-enforcement work.
On September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of Russia’s so-called “partial mobilization.”
Dozhd TV has reported that mobilization will happen in three stages: September 26–October 10; October 11–25; and October 26–November 10.
Earlier this month, two Russian regions announced the start of a new phase of mobilization. Following a briefing, in which the presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov denied this information, regional governors withdrew their earlier statements.
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