In a rare admission of official mistakes, the Kremlin acknowledged on Monday that its new military draft to reinforce the Russian assault on Ukraine has been rife with problems. The admission occurred the same day that a man, apparently distraught over the mobilization, shot and seriously wounded a recruitment officer at a draft office in Siberia.
Since President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia announced a “partial mobilization” last week to call up 300,000 people with military experience to join the fight, there have been widespread reports of conscription in rural regions that has swept up ethnic minorities and, it appears, people unfit for duty.
Protests have erupted in far-flung cities, recruitment centers have been the target of arson, and thousands of military-age men have packed planes and vehicles to flee across Russia’s borders.
The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, acknowledged on Monday that there had been irregularities in the call-up, but he tried to shift blame to the local authorities carrying out the mobilization among resistant civilians across the country. [Continue reading…]