Putin's promise no longer holds

In the uncertainty on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin's speech on the "partial mobilization" of "reservists" broke out, many Russians looked to the tables shown on state television for support. There are three categories, based on military rank and age, and the powerful nurtured the illusion that everything would be so formal.

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for China, North Korea and Mongolia.

A member of the Defense Committee of the Duma, the lower house, said "apparently" first category men would be drafted first. These include simple soldiers and sailors up to the age of 35, and older men with higher ranks. A second grade starts at 45 for basic ranks, the third at 50; Women always fall into this class. But the sigh of relief that the man who served many years ago, in his mid-40s, is now only in the second grade, or that the niece, who could serve as a doctor in the military, is only in the third grade, does not stand up to Russian realities .

In his role as the "good tsar," Putin gave the impression that it was really only about "partial mobilization." However, his decree allows the military, according to the respective military requirements of Russia "mobilization resource" to be excavated. Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said he would call up 300,000 reservists on Wednesday. However, in the secret seventh point of the decree (to which the published document only says "for official use") there should be talk of the conscription of up to one million people; However, the Kremlin rejected the corresponding report by the exiled offshoot of Novaya Gazeta. It also became clear that the regions are responsible for organizing recruitment.

Traffic jam at the border with Finland near Vaalimaa on Thursday

Traffic jam at the border with Finland near Vaalimaa on Thursday

Image: AFP

In practice, there is much to suggest that the war, still referred to as “special operations,” is entering the lives of many more Russians than talk of “partial mobilization” would suggest. "Orders" to "declare mobilization" from the military commissar in question emerged from region after region. Accordingly, reservists have to go to their places of residence, which they are no longer allowed to leave without permission. The documents from regions like Dagestan and Tatarstan not only tell of problems with supply of personnel, but also of material concerns: It is also planned that vehicles for military purposes can be confiscated.

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