On Sep. 21 Russia’s president Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the partial mobilization of Russian citizens. What does it entail?
The document does not mention that only reserve service members are subject to conscription.
The decree only lists the grounds for dismissal from military service:
- i.e., the achievement of a certain age;
- state of health;
- a court sentence of imprisonment.
The document says that employees of the military-industrial complex can receive a deferral from conscription.
So, it appears that those who served in the army and signed a contract to stay in reserve would be the first to be called up, followed by eligible men.
The Russian Ministry of Defense is to prepare quotas for mobilization for each region of Russia, and the governors will be responsible for the implementation.
Partial mobilization will affect “300 thousand reservists”
In an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu claimed Russia has a “huge mobilization resource” — almost 25 million people. Partial mobilization, according to him, will affect 1.1% of the total. He noted that students and conscripts are not subject to mobilization.
According to Shoigu, partial mobilization is being organized primarily to control the territory near the front line. Shoigu added that the partial mobilization was announced when the training of reservists was supposed to begin, so that the training would be canceled.
Partial mobilization may affect reservists up to 50 years old, Lieutenant General, member of the State Duma Committee on Defense, Andrei Gurulev, told Interfax.
However, Vyacheslav Gimadi, the head of the legal department of imprisoned oppositionist Alexei Navalny’s team, said that Putin had in effect announced a full, not partial, mobilization.
“They have the right to call everyone except those completely unfit for health and age (soldiers under 50 and junior officers under 60). As the Defense Ministry wants,” Ghimadi said.
The head of the State Duma Committee on Defense, Andrey Kartapolov, explained that first of all; the authorities can mobilize:
- soldiers, sailors, sergeants, supervisors, ensigns under the age of 35;
- junior officers under the age of 50;
- majors, lieutenant colonels, captains of the 3rd rank, captains of the 2nd rank under the age of 55;
- colonels, captains of the 1st rank up to 60 years;
- senior officers under 65 years of age.
Graduates of military departments can be called up if their specialties are in need, Kartalapov added.
Called up reservists can be stopped from leaving Russia
Putin’s decree does not directly restrict the right of reservists to leave Russia. Such restrictions apply from the moment when people subject to partial mobilization receive a summons, Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, told RIA Novosti.
For his part, Kartapolov, said that he does not advise people who fall under partial mobilization to “go to resorts in Turkey.”
“Relax in the Crimea and Krasnodar Territory resorts,” he suggested. According to Kartapolov, people can move around the country before receiving a summons, “but it’s better not to do that.”
As part of the mobilization, citizens are to be summoned according to an agenda, but some must appear themselves.
The head of the international human rights group, “Agora,” said that the mobilized are to be notified by a summons, which is to be handed over individually. But reservists who have mobilization orders must report to the military commissariat on their own, without waiting for a summons.
“Viasna” has called for an all-Russian protest action against mobilization. Activists invited people to gather at 19 pm local time on Sep. 21 in the central squares of their cities. Navalny’s team also called on Russians to protest, promising to support “any form of protest.”
“If you are ready to do big things, including setting fire to the military enlistment office, we support this, and we are also ready to provide some assistance,” said Ivan Zhdanov, an associate of Navalny.
An exodus triggered?
Even before Putin’s address, all air tickets to Istanbul for Sep. 21 and almost all tickets to Yerevan were sold. Tickets to these cities are still available for other dates.
After the Putin’s address, Russians actively bought tickets from Moscow to Minsk, The Village Belarus notes.
Meanwhile, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevich said that for security reasons, Latvia would not issue humanitarian and other visas to Russian citizens who evade mobilization.