Man shoots Russian military recruit at close range amid fears Ukraine will be summoned: ‘No one will go to fight’

A young man shot a Russian officer at close range at a recruiting office on Monday, in an unusually bold attack that reflects resistance to the Russian leadership’s efforts. Hundreds of thousands of men crowded to wage war on Ukraine.

The shooting comes after separate burnings of recruitment offices and protests in Russian cities against the summons, which resulted in the arrest of at least 2,000 people. Russia Pursuit to strengthen its army Ukraine The attack faltered and exhausted his forces.

In the attack in the Siberian city of Ust-Ilimsk, 25-year-old local resident Ruslan Zinin entered the recruitment office saying “No one will go to fight” and “we will all go home now,” according to local media reports. .

Zinin was arrested and officials vowed severe punishment. Local authorities said the military commander was in intensive care, without elaborating. A local news website quoted a witness as saying that Zinin was in a room of people called to fight. It is scheduled to head the forces from his area to the military bases on Tuesday.

Russian reservists leave for military bases while mobilizing forces in Bataysk
An Orthodox priest performs a service for reservists conscripted during partial mobilization, before their departure for military bases, in the city of Bataysk, Rostov Region, Russia, September 26, 2022.

Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters

Fears are growing that Russia may seek to escalate the conflict – including the use of nuclear weapons – once it has completed what Ukraine and the West consider illegal referendums in parts of Ukraine under its control.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken He said 60 minutes The Kremlin has a nuclear “chain of command,” but it is uncertain whether anyone would say “no” to Russian President Vladimir Putin if he decided to launch a nuclear weapon.

“This is the Achilles’ heel of authoritarian regimes anywhere,” The Minister of Foreign Affairs said. “…No one usually has the ability or the will to speak truth to power. And I think part of the reason is that Russia has gotten itself into the mess it is in because there is no one in the system to effectively tell Putin that he is doing the wrong thing.”

Blinken said Putin’s speech was “irresponsible” and added that the United States had expressed concerns to Russia about its threats.

“We’re focused on making sure we all act responsibly, especially when it comes to this kind of loose rhetoric,” Blinken told Billy. “We’ve been very clear with the Russians both publicly and in private to stop loose talk about nuclear weapons.”

The vote, in which residents are asked if they want their regions to become part of Russia, began last week and ends Tuesday, under conditions that are neither free nor fair.

Thousands of residents had already fled the areas amid months of continuous fighting, and photos released by those who remained showed Russian armed forces going from house to house to pressure Ukrainians to vote.

“Every night and day there is an inevitable bombardment in the Donbass, under a roar that forces people to vote for Russian peace,” Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kirilenko said on Monday.

Russia is widely expected to announce the results in its favour, a move that could see Moscow annex the region and give it an excuse to defend it as its own territory under the Russian nuclear umbrella.

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that no date had been set for recognizing the regions as part of Russia, but that it could take days.

On Monday, Putin said, Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko held an unannounced meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi and said they were ready to cooperate with the West “if they treat us with respect.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Putin told the Turkish president during their meeting in Uzbekistan last week that Moscow was ready to resume negotiations with Ukraine but that it had “new conditions” for a ceasefire. The minister did not specify the conditions.

The Kremlin announced last week a partial mobilization – its first since World War II – to add at least 300,000 troops to its forces in Ukraine. The move, a sharp departure from Putin’s earlier efforts to portray the war as a limited military operation that would not interfere with the lives of most Russians, proved unpopular at home.

Thousands of men of fighting age flocked to Russia’s land airfields and border crossings in an effort to avoid being called up. Protests erupted in different parts of the country, and Russian media reported a growing number of arson attacks on military recruitment offices, including one targeting the southern city of Oryubinsk on Monday.

Meanwhile, the first batch of Russian troops mobilized by Moscow has begun to arrive at military bases, the British Army said on Monday. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an online intelligence briefing that tens of thousands had been summoned so far.

Under normal circumstances, two battalions are deployed while two battalions remain behind for training. But the British Ministry of Defense said that in the Ukraine war, even the 3rd battalion is deployed, which weakens this training.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky He said in a Facebook post on Monday that the Ukrainian military was pressing for the restoration of “the entire territory of Ukraine”, and had drawn up plans to counter “new types of weapons” used by Russia, without elaborating.

The Ukrainian military said, on Monday, that an air strike by a drone near the Ukrainian port of Odessa caused a massive fire and explosion. It was the latest in a series of drone attacks on the main southern city in recent days, hitting a military facility and detonating munitions when they hit it. The Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said firefighters struggled to contain the blaze and nearby civilians were evacuated.

New Russian bombing has hit the area around the nuclear power plant in Zaporozhye, according to Zelensky’s office. Cities near the station have been bombed nine times in the last hours with rocket launchers and heavy artillery.

In the eastern Ukrainian town of Izyum, which Russian forces left earlier this month after a Ukrainian counter-attack, Margarita Tkachenko is still reeling from the battle that destroyed her home and left her family close to starvation.

With no gas, electricity, running water, or internet, she said, “I can’t predict what’s going to happen next. Winter is the scariest. We don’t have wood. How are we going to heat?”

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