Russia’s military mobilisation decree has been “violated” with some men called up in error, the Kremlin has admitted.
It came amid reports of elderly or medically exempt men being called up for service in Ukraine after Moscow last week ordered its largest conscription drive since the Second World War.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that some draft orders had been issued in error, saying mistakes were being corrected by regional governors and the ministry of defence.
“There have been cases when the decree is violated … These cases of non-compliance with the required criteria are being eliminated,” Peskov said.
The mobilisation process is already underway in Russia with men being deployed ahead of joining the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said about 300,000 people would be summoned to active duty but there are reports that the final number will be higher.
On Monday, a young man shot a Russian military officer at close range at an enlistment office in Siberia after saying “no one will go to fight” and “we will all go home now”, according to AP.
It followed arson attacks at other enlistment offices and widespread protests against mobilisation that have seen hundreds arrested.
Men are fleeing at the border
Russia’s borders have seen an outflow of military-aged men since the partial mobilisation was declared last week.
Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that 261,000 men had left the country since the decree was issued, citing an unnamed source in Russia’s presidential administration, according to Reuters.
Over the weekend, 17,000 Russians entered Finland, but Baltic neighbours Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania say they will turn away Russians at the border hoping to avoid mobilisation.
On Monday, a senior Russian lawmaker said the country’s borders should be closed to draft-eligible men amid the exodus.
“Everyone who is of conscription age should be banned from travelling abroad in the current situation,” Sergei Tsekov, a member of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, told RIA news agency.
However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said no decisions had been taken on closing Russia’s borders.
“I don’t know anything about this. At the moment, no decisions have been taken on this,” Peskov said.