Vladimir Putin is resorting to mobilising handicapped and blind people in a desperate bid to boost his frontline troops. The Russian President finally caved in to his generals and announced a “partial” nationwide mobilisation in September. Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said the Kremlin would initially conscript 300,000 men.
In his address to the nation to announce the draft, Putin assured Russians that only those who are “currently in the reserve” or who had previous military experience would be eligible for the call up.
He also said officials would prioritise young and healthy reservists.
Despite those assurances, army recruitment officials have decided to round up anyone they can get their hands on.
And this seemingly includes Russians with physical disabilities and chronic illnesses, according to recent reports.
In one case, Oleg Vasiliev received a summons to report to his local military recruitment office.
Mr Vasiliev, who lives in Moscow, suffers from spinal muscular atrophy and is wheelchair bound
Yet he was ordered to report to the office of his local military commissariat on Tamanskaya Street at 10am on October 9.
Similarly, 34-year-old Dmitry Klyukvin received his notice of conscription from local officials.
Mr Klyukvin has been blind since birth, although he is an active sportsman and is a martial arts champion.
When he turned up at the recruitment office, officials allowed him to return home, apologising for their mistake.
However, they offered him no guarantees that he would not be called up in the future.
A recruitment officer told the media outlet MASH: “Currently he is not subject to mobilisation.
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His wife said medical staff had to give him insulin, although previously he never had to take it.
Despite his serious condition, officials are insisting he is still fit to serve in the army.
Last week, reports emerged of a concerted effort by military officials and police to round up people in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
Entrances to an underground station in Moscow were blocked, as officials handed out draft notices to Russian men.
Similarly, police bore down on apartment blocks in an attempt to collar more recruits.