Ukrainian war, Russia enlists homeless and poor

The complaint: in Moscow dozens of homeless people taken from the streets and taken by force to the draft office

The Russian authorities are allegedly mobilizing men from the most vulnerable groups, taken from the centers of charitable associations or in the hostels where the migrants live, to send them to the front in the war against Ukraine. The Mediazone website writes it, relaunched by the Moscow Times.

The association “Food not bombs”, which offers meals to the homeless in Moscow, has reported that dozens of homeless people have been taken from the streets and forcibly taken to the conscription office. “The police came. They saw a queue of people waiting for food, they took them by the scruff of the neck, against their will”, said the head of the orthodox charity Hangar of Salvation, saying that the ‘conscripts’ are were loaded onto a bus and taken to the recruiting center.

According to testimonies collected by Mediazone, the authorities also raided the hostels where migrants, taxi drivers and street vendors stay. The Moscow Travel Inn was surrounded by police on October 8th. The agents asked for the documents of everyone present. Some of the men had their passports seized and given the precept cards, with orders to report to the recruitment center the next day.

Meanwhile, some refugees from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol have been drafted into the Russian army, according to the independent Russian website Verstka.

The mobilization would have taken place in the Russian city of Lipetsk. Some refugees said the call to arms came to men from Mariupol who had found work at the local Novolipetsk steel plant and had received Russian citizenship. A woman from Mariupol said a 25-year-old fellow citizen of hers was sent to the front soon after receiving a Russian passport. “Sending people who have just fled to war is horrible – she commented – my husband and I didn’t want a Russian passport. We always hope to leave.” “But after the referendum, Mariupol was annexed to Russia. Does this mean that we are automatically Russian citizens and our men can be mobilized?” Asked the woman.

Attacked by Russian forces on 2 March, Mariupol surrendered on 20 May after a long and bloody siege that cost the lives of thousands of civilians. Many inhabitants have been forced to take refuge in Russia, even against their will.