Sinister raids by conscript-catchers have begun in Moscow and St Petersburg, even as Vladimir Putin announced his military mobilisation is coming to an end and he has no plans for further conscriptions.
Speaking at a press conference in the Kazakh capital Astana, Putin said that the ‘partial mobilisation’ he announced last month, which the defence minister said aimed to recruit 300,000 soldiers, was finishing and would be over within two weeks.
‘Nothing additional is planned. No proposals have been received from the defence ministry and I don’t see any additional need in the foreseeable future,’ Putin said of his on-going mobilisation.
‘Now 222,000 people have been mobilised out of 300,000. Within about two weeks, all mobilisation activities will be completed.’
The announcement comes as police and enlistment officers have been spotted lurking on street corners and near blocks of flats in Russian population centres.
And armed recruiters have even been cruising offices seeking men for mobilisation and in some cases enlistment teams are reportedly using facial recognition cameras to snare dodgers.
‘They are acting like dog catchers. It’s sickening how they are dragging men away as cannon fodder,’ said one comment.
Sinister conscript catchers with conscription papers have been raiding homes and offices looking for men to forcibly enlist in Vladimir Putin’s army
And armed recruiters have even been cruising offices seeking men for mobilisation and in some cases enlistment teams are reportedly using facial recognition cameras to snare dodgers
Russian recruits gather inside a military recruitment centre of Bataysk, Rostov-on-Don region, south of Russia, Monday, Sept. 26
Men being rounded up for war mobilisation by Putin’s conscript-catchers in Moscow and St Petersburg
In Polyustrovo Park residential complex in St Petersburg, men of mobilisation age were trapped near the entrance for summonses to be served.
In Moscow, there was a mass delivery of summonses at underground stations, reported Ostorozhno News.
Eyewitnesses said police officers interview men, take their personal details, then serve some of them with summonses. Some people are taken away to police cars.
Pavel Chikov, prominent lawyer and human rights activist, warned of ‘increasing reports of raids’.
‘There are cases of summonses being served on the street, citizens being detained by the police in the subway and hotels, and their forced delivery to military enlistment offices or mobilisation points’
He stated: ‘This practice is illegal.’
Senator Andrey Klishas – from pro-Putin United Russia party – called for checks on whether it was legal to pluck men from the metro and force them to the war.
The authorities are using police, traffic police, FSB security service and residential databases to track down possible dodgers.
They are also raiding offices to root out men of mobilisation age, even though Russians were promised that one percent of the male population would be sent to Putin’s war.
‘Police officers walk around the floors and take men of military age,’ reported a source of The Village online media.
‘In the morning there was one paddy wagon, it was filled. A second was brought. They took our administrator and other men who were on the first floor. [Men] are caught in the corridor.
Putin said in Astana that the ‘partial mobilisation’ he announced last month, which the defence minister said aimed to recruit 300,000 soldiers, was finishing and would be over within two weeks
Russian recruits take a bus near a military recruitment center in Krasnodar, Russia, Sunday, Sept. 25
Russian recruits gather to take a train at a railway station in Prudboi, Volgograd region of Russia, Thursday, Sept. 29
‘Specifically, three policemen came to our reception.’
Reservists are vulnerable for mobilisation to the lower ranks up to the age of 35; junior officers can be called up to the age of 50 and senior officers can be drafted up to 55.
The conscript-catching raids seem to give lie to claims in Russia that the first wave of mobilisation is over, and that no second wave has begun.
The sinister conscript catchers come as a holiday flight in Russia was delayed for nine hours because the co-pilot was conscripted.
The unnamed pilot was barred from going abroad even as passengers were on board and ready to fly to Antalya in Turkey.
Holidaymakers in the AzurAir flight were told: ‘Due to the mobilisation and subsequent prohibition on crossing the border for the co-pilot, take-off has been cancelled.
‘We ask you to leave the plane.’
The flight left oil city Ufa in the Urals some nine hours later once a replacement co-pilot was found.
‘Everyone was shocked,’ said passenger Vadim.
‘It was insane, the military enlistment office came for the co-pilot. We were supposed to take off at 5:20 am, but we eventually left only at 2pm.
‘At first we waited for two hours, then we were all sent to hotels.’
Officials evidently blamed the plane nightmare on the co-pilot ignoring an initial summons to fight in Putin’s bloody war in Ukraine.
This is why he was barred from leaving Russia, it was claimed.
Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin has increased the number of his strategic nuclear bombers stationed at an airbase near the Finnish and Norwegian borders, satellite images show.
The move comes amid high tension over whether Putin plans to launch an atomic attack in Europe and his on-going invasion of Ukraine, which has suffered a string of embarrassing setbacks in recent months.
The Russian tyrant has gradually increased the number of strategic bombers at Olenya air base – from none on August 12, to four supersonic Tu-160s on August 21, to 11 now.
Vladimir Putin has again increased his strategic nuclear bombers at an airbase near the Finnish and Norwegian borders, say reports. Pictured: A satellite image taken on October 7, 2022 shows seven Tu-160 strategic bombers (marked in red) and four Tu-95 aircraft (marked in yellow) at the Olenya airbase, Russia Kola Peninsula
Pictured: The runway of the Olenya air base at the Kola Peninsula is seen empty on August 12, 2022
Pictured: Four Tu-160 ‘Blackjacks’ seen at Olenya air base around August, 21 2022 by an Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat Intl
Pictured: The Four Tu-160 ‘Blackjacks’ (at the base since August 21, 2022) were joined by three Tu-95 ‘Bears’ by September 25
The Armageddon planes are usually stationed at Engels Air Base, 450 miles south-east of Moscow.
Now, however, the bombers are stationed around 115 miles away from the border of NATO member Norway, and about 95 miles away from the soon-to-become Alliance member, Finland.
They can also be used with conventional weapons.
There is evidence the deployment at Olanya has Kh-101 cruise missiles for possible use against targets in Ukraine.
The Kh-101 can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.
The runway at Olenya airbase was empty on 12 August, with satellite images from October 7 showing that it is now full of warplanes.