BBC News Brasil ‘I will break my arm, leg or anything to avoid conscription’: Who are the reserves Putin wants to send to war 23/09/2022 06:21

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Russian men describe how they tried to resist President Vladimir Putin’s call for 300,000 reservists.

For many Russians, the government’s decision to call in 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine came as a shock.

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In big cities, Russia’s war against the neighboring country always seemed something far away. But as soon as President Vladimir Putin’s latest speech was over, it hit many people’s homes. Being sent to war was closer than anyone could have imagined.

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Suddenly, chats and text exchanges erupted with anxious discussions about what’s next. Plans were made on how to avoid being sent to the fronts.

st. “It was like a 1980s sci-fi movie. It’s a little scary, to be honest,” says 28-year-old Dmitry, who works in an office in St. Petersburg. Employees were unable to start the workday by sticking to their conversations on TV, computer and cell phone screens.

After lunch, he asked permission from the office and went to exchange rubles for dollars at a nearby bank.

Dmitry moved home after being visited by the police for participating in an anti-war demonstration? he believes it will be more difficult for the authorities to find him in his new location.

“I’m not sure what to do next: get on the next plane abroad or stay a little longer in Russia and get chased by the police at some anti-war rallies.”

Sergei, not his real name, has already been called.

A 26-year-old doctoral student and professor at a leading Russian university was waiting for food delivery when the doorbell rang the night before Putin’s speech. Instead, he came across two civilian men who gave him military documents and asked him to sign them.

The BBC has a copy of these documents requesting Sergei to be at a recruitment center on Thursday 22/9.

The Russian government said that only people who have completed their military service and have special skills or combat experience will be recruited.

But Sergei doesn’t fit that description, and his stepfather worries that it’s a crime to avoid conscription in Russia.

The stepfather works for a state-owned oil company and was asked hours later to provide a list of employees who are legally exempt from military service.

Most Russian men are looking for ways to avoid conscription.

In Moscow, Vyacheslav said that he and his friends began to seek medical reasons for fleeing the military election.

“Mental health or drug addiction treatment seems like good options, cheap or maybe even free,” he said.

“If you’re drunk and arrested while driving, you can expect your license to be revoked and treated. I can’t be sure, but I hope that’s enough to avoid getting caught” is far. [para o exército]”

Vyacheslav’s brother-in-law narrowly avoided enlisting as he was not at home when the authorities arrived. His mother saw the documents that required her to take office between 19-23 September.

“She has locked herself in a room and refuses to go out,” says Vyacheslav.

“She has two young children, one and three years old. What can she do?” he asks.

Another man from Kaliningrad told the BBC he would do anything to avoid serving in the war: “I’ll break my arm, my leg, go to jail or anything to avoid being drafted.”

Thousands of Russians joined anti-war protests in cities around the country on Wednesday night (9/21). Many said they received street summons even when they were detained by the police or later.

The human rights organization OVD-Info listed about ten police stations in Moscow where protesters received subpoenas. At least one person in the Vernadsky district of Moscow refused to sign and was threatened with criminal prosecution.

One woman told independent media site Mediazona that her husband was detained at an anti-war protest on the Arbat in central Moscow. She was taken to a police station where she received subpoenas and signed while filming she. He was instructed to take up a military mission on Thursday, 22/9, she.

Michael, 25, left Russia at the start of the war for neighboring Georgia. He returned to his small homeland, where he lived in the Urals for only a few days. He had planned to return, but is now concerned about the threat of nuclear weapons proposed by President Putin and will stay in Russia close to his family.

“We are in a panic. Many of them already have subpoenas in my city, but I am not registered to live here, so I will not receive them”, he believes.

He recently got a good job in Tbilisi, but now sees the opportunity as useless due to Vladimir Putin’s military escalation.

“He even managed to destroy the mess he made on February 24 on September 21. [o início da invasão]”, compares Mikhail.

“I’ve completely stopped caring. I live only for today.”

– This text was originally published at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional-63006492.

Olesya Gerasimenko and Liza Fokht – BBC News Russia

23.09.2022 06:21

source: Noticias

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