Dozens of videos of tearful families sending fathers, husbands, brothers and sons to the Russian army were shared on social networks after the first day of the announced mobilization in the country. Despite Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s claims that only experienced reservists will be called up and students will not be sent to the front, university students have also received summonses.
The footage from the town of Stari Oskol in the Belgorod Region is heartbreaking. The video from the mobilization point shows the desperate cry of a little boy sending his father away.
“Daddy, goodbye! Come back…Daddy,” cries the child as the man waits for a bus carrying the reservists.
The picture is the same in Makhachkala, Neryungri and Moscow. Hundreds of families are sending their loved ones off through tears.
Video from the eastern Siberian city of Neryungri shows men leaving a stadium. Before boarding the buses, the men hug their relatives waiting for them outside. Many are crying and some cover their mouths with their hands. A man holds a child by the window of a bus for a last look from the departing bus.
In Moscow, women wept, hugged and crossed men at another mobilization center. A father hugs his 25-year-old son in parting and tells him: “Take care”. The young man, who introduced himself as Dmitri, told the “Ostrozhno Novosti” media in “Telegram” that he did not expect to be called up and mobilized so quickly, especially because he is a student. According to him, he received the summons that morning to report to the center at 3 p.m. and after waiting for an hour and a half, he was told that he was leaving immediately with the rest of the mobilized. Then he went outside to say goodbye to his relatives and friends.
“In reality, this is a war. You will be sent to the guard units of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson. In fact, no one will avoid mobilization. Deviation from military service is punishable by 3 to 10 years in prison. I tell you once again – you must not you’re afraid. You’re not all going to be on the front lines.” With these words, a soldier from a mobilization point in the Stavropol Region addresses the reservists.
According to him, the mobilized will guard administrative buildings and infrastructure, and those “who are lucky” will be on the front line.
The announced partial mobilization led to impromptu protests in Russia in which at least 1,332 people were arrested on Wednesday, AFP reported. According to data from the Russian human rights organization OVD-Info, at least 538 people were detained in Moscow alone, and 479 in St. Petersburg. In both cities, there were cases of protesters being beaten. In 15 police stations in Moscow, detained men were handed summonses for mobilization.