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Unrest among 220,000 Russian reservists drafted to fight in Ukraine

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es. Vienna, October 24, 2020

from the Kiev Independent:

More than 220,000 Russian reservists have been drafted to fight in Ukraine since Putin’s declaration of “partial mobilization.” But many are refusing to fight, including Mikhail Ashichev, a 34-year-old mechanic from the town of Podporozhye.

In a widely circulated video shot five hundred miles from Moscow, Russian officials are shown meeting in a military draft office to talk to Ashichev about his opposition to being sent to the front lines in Ukraine.

“I’m not a pacifist. If a country was trying to occupy my Motherland, or commit aggression against Russia, I would go straight to the military enlistment office and sign up, without waiting for my call-up papers,” Ashichev tells the group of officials. “But in this particular case I believe that there is no military threat to my Motherland.”

Sternly rebuking him, one of the officials replies that “our Motherland is in danger,” to which Ashichev responds, “My Motherland wasn’t in danger before February 24,” the day.

The young mechanic argues that the Russian constitution grants him the right to object to conscription. However, he is fully aware of the potential consequences the officials could impose upon him.

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