Russians forcibly ‘mobilized’ 3,000 residents of Melitopol, says mayor

17 October 2022, 11:21 AM
The occupiers forcefully take the residents of captured Melitopol to fight (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The occupiers forcefully take the residents of captured Melitopol to fight (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The Russian military has forcibly "mobilized" up to 3,000 residents of Melitopol in Zaporizhzhia Oblast for its war against Ukraine, city mayor Ivan Fedorov said during on Ukrainian national television on Oct. 16.

"As for mobilization in general, unfortunately, it exists,” he stated.

“They can just take people in the middle of the street, take them to the military registration and enlistment office, and there they are released, but immediately registered. And there are examples when people were also taken to the army. In total, 3,000 residents of Melitopol were taken to some pseudo-volunteer battalions, and mobilization, unfortunately, continues.”

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He noted that Russians prioritize mobilizing people who have received Russian passports.

"Today, when we talk about mobilization, those people who received passports of the enemy state are the first to be mobilized,” Fedorov said.

“Right at the checkpoint they are stopped, taken out of the car, and send immediately to the trenches.”

The forcible conscription of civilians by an occupying power is a violation of international humanitarian law, and is considered a war crime.

Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin announced a "partial mobilization" in Russia on Sept. 21. The call-up came after the Russian army suffered a heavy defeat in Ukraine, losing swathes of formerly occupied territory in Ukraine’s Kharkiv Oblast.

According to official data from the Russian Defense Ministry, the plan is to draft about 300,000 reservists. However, the part of the published decree ordering the mobilization dealing with the number of draftees has been classified, leaving the true mobilization target in doubt, though independent Russian media outlets have reported that the number is around one million.

After the announcement of “partial mobilization”, Russians began to buy tickets abroad en masse to avoid participation in their country’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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