Russian Man Shoots Commander Drafting Residents for War in Ukraine
The shooter's mother said her son was upset as his friend without military experience had received draft papers.
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A Russian man shot the leader of a local military draft committee in a Siberian town on Monday, 26 September, after telling him he would refuse to fight in the war in Ukraine.
The incident took place in the city of Ust-Ilimsk in the Irkutsk region in Siberia.
The shooting marks one of the most dramatic instances of outrage over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilisation to bolster Russia's forces in Ukraine, where it has been engaged in a war since the end of February this year.
Video showed the gunman, dressed in camouflage, firing at the official from point blank range as other potential draftees fled the scene. Reports say that at least three shots were fired.
Igor Kobzev, the governor of the Irkutsk region, told The Moscow Times that chief enlistment officer, Alexander Yeliseyev, was critically wounded and is now fighting for his life as a result of the shooting. The shooter was detained at the recruitment office in the Irkutsk town.
The shooter's mother told an independent news outlet that her son was “very upset” because his friend without military experience had allegedly received draft papers despite the authorities’ promise to recruit strictly experienced reservists, according to The Moscow Times.
Criticism Has Been Mounting over Putin's Decision
Since Putin made the surprise announcement last week, at least 20 recruitment offices have been torched across Russia’s 11 time zones.
On Sunday, 25 September, the country's two most senior lawmakers addressed a string of complaints about Russia’s mobilisation drive, ordering regional officials to get a handle on the situation and swiftly solve the “excesses” that have stoked public anger, according to Al Jazeera.
Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, Russia’s lower chamber, expressed concerns over the excesses.
“Complaints are being received,” the news channel quoted him as saying. “If a mistake is made, it is necessary to correct it… Authorities at every level should understand their responsibilities.”
The decision has attracted criticism from the Kremlin’s own supporters. “It has been announced that privates can be recruited up to the age of 35. Summonses are going to 40-year-olds,” the strongly pro-Kremlin editor of Russia’s state-run RT news channel, Margarita Simonyan, railed on her Telegram channel.
(With inputs from The Moscow Times and Al Jazeera.)
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