Russia pledges to fix mistakes after mobilizing the elderly and sick

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Moscow (AFP) – Russian authorities promised on Sunday to correct errors in their troop call for Ukraine, after some public outrage over students, the elderly or the sick who were mistakenly ordered to report for work.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization on Wednesday, he said only people with “relevant” military skills or experience would be affected.

But many have expressed outrage after seeing cases – sometimes absurd – of authorities summoning people unfit for service.

Authorities in the Volgograd region in southwestern Russia have sent a 63-year-old diabetic ex-serviceman to a training camp, despite poor health and brain problems.

The 63-year-old returned home on Friday evening, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

In the same region, 58-year-old school principal Alexander Faltin received a call-out order despite having no military experience.

Her daughter posted a video on social media that went viral.

He was allowed to return home after reviewing his documents, according to RIA.

A rare entry

Upper house speaker Valentina Matviyenko called on all governors – who oversee advocacy campaigns – to avoid mistakes, in a rare admission on Sunday.

“Incorrect cases of mobilization (…) cause fierce reactions in society, and rightly so,” Matviyenko said in a statement on Telegram.

“Some assume that getting their report (to their superiors) quickly is more important than doing this important job properly,” she added.

“This is unacceptable… Make sure that the partial mobilization is done in full respect of the criteria. And without a single mistake!” she ordered.

The governor of the northwestern Leningrad region, Alexander Drozdenko, told the heads of local districts to “take calls from residents under your personal control and deal with each case”, according to a statement published on his website on Sunday. administration.

The governor of the Vladimir region, Vladimir Avdeev, already said on Saturday that “anyone mobilized by mistake will return home”.

Errors are described as isolated cases.

But the very fact that the Russian authorities are talking about it highlights concerns about the level of outrage among part of the population.

“Understanding trust”

This new example is the latest Russian logistical problem revealed since the start of the Ukrainian offensive in February.

Russia announced on Saturday the replacement of its highest-ranking general in charge of logistics as part of this mobilization campaign.

On Saturday, Valeriy Fadeev, chairman of the Kremlin’s human rights council, had urged Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to “urgently resolve the issues” to avoid “undermining the confidence of the people”.

He evokes several aberrations including the recruitment of 70 fathers of large families in the far eastern region of Buryatia, and nurses and midwives without any military skills.

Fadeev said these recruits were called up “under threat of criminal prosecution”.

Fadeev also criticized those who “handed out 2 a.m. summonses as if they all thought we were draft dodgers.”

Several students told AFP they had received appeal papers, despite Russian authorities promising they would be excluded from the recruitment drive.

On Saturday, Putin signed a decree confirming that students of secondary vocational and higher education institutions would be exempt from mobilization.

Detained anti-mobilization protesters said police gave them appeal papers in custody – ordering them to enlist in the very effort they denounced.

But the Kremlin defended the procedure on Thursday, saying it “is not against the law.”

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