Social media videos show the first phase of Russia’s partial mobilization getting underway in several Russian regions, especially in the Caucasus and the Russian Far East.
Telegram videos showed one newly mobilized group of men awaiting transport, purportedly in Amginskiy Uliss in the region of Yakutiya, a vast Siberian territory — where the caption on one video read, “50 mobilized guys are going to the special operation zone.”
Another shows a group of about 100 newly mobilized soldiers waiting at Magadan Airport in the Russian Far East, next to a transport aircraft. The group receives instructions on no smoking and other rules inside the plane and are warned that it will be cold inside the aircraft and that there are no toilets on board.
Still in the Russian Far East, in the city of Neryungri, a community video channel posted video of families saying goodbye to a large group of men, as they board buses. The video shows a woman crying and hugging her husband goodbye, while he reaches for his daughter’s hand from the bus window.
Neryungri is six time zones east of Ukraine.
CNN has not been able independently to geolocate or date all the videos posted.
The republic of Buryatia has already supplied hundreds of volunteers to the conflict in Ukraine. The central Asian region may be about to send many more. According to a community Telegram channel called The People of Baikal, “they might mobilize up to 6-7 thousand people in Buryatia. The authorities do not name the exact number.”
“Buses with mobilized people are arriving in Ulan-Ude [Buryatia’s capital] in the morning. The men are taken to the assembly point of the Military Commissariat…,” it said.
The channel, which has just under 5,000 subscribers, describes itself as independent. It quotes a local official as saying, “we were given a verbal order to raise the mobilized from their beds, put them in cars and immediately bring them to the military registration and enlistment office.”
It’s not possible to verify the channel’s reporting.
In Dagestan in the Caucasus, a furious argument broke out at one enlistment office, according to one video. A woman said her son had been fighting since February. Told by a man that she should not have sent him, she replied, ” Your grandfather fought so that you could live,” to which the man responded: “Back then it was war, right now it is politics.”
Much nearer the Ukrainian border, a crowd was gathered near the city of Belgorod to see off a batch of newly mobilized men. As they get on a bus, a boy shouts out, “Bye, Daddy!” and starts crying.
Other moves are underway to increase the flow of troops.
The Human Rights Council of Russia has proposed that immigrants from central Asian countries who have had Russian citizenship for less than 10 years will undergo compulsory military service in Russia for a year, according to the Russian news agency TASS.