Critics have accused authorities of focusing mobilisation efforts in remote parts of Russia — like Siberia and the North Caucasus — to avoid sparking opposition in major urban centres and especially Moscow.
A man has opened fire and wounded a recruitment officer at an enlistment centre in Siberia, the local governor has said, as tensions mount over Russia's military mobilisation for the conflict in Ukraine.
The incident occurred on Monday in the town of Ust-Ilimsk in Irkutsk, a vast and thinly populated region of southeastern Siberia.
"In Ust-Ilimsk, a young man fired at the military registration and enlistment office," Irkutsk governor Igor Kobzev said in a message on Telegram.
Kobzev said a military commissar had been wounded in the shooting and was in critical condition.
The shooter was immediately arrested, he said, and "will definitely be punished!"
"I am ashamed that this is happening at a time when, on the contrary, we should be united. We must not fight with each but against real threats," Kobzev said.
"I have given instructions to strengthen security measures. I ask everyone to remain calm," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilisation of reservists on Wednesday as Moscow's forces face setbacks in the seven-month conflict in Ukraine.
The announcement sparked panic and demonstrations, with hundreds detained across the country.
Critics have accused authorities of focusing mobilisation efforts in remote parts of the country like Siberia and the North Caucasus, to avoid sparking opposition in major urban centres and especially Moscow.
Meanwhile, the first batches of Russian troops mobilised by Moscow have begun to arrive at military bases, the British military said on Monday.
In an online intelligence briefing, the British Defence Ministry said “many tens of thousands” had been called up. However, the Russians face challenges ahead.
“Unlike most Western armies, the Russian military provides low-level, initial training to soldiers within their designated operational units, rather than in dedicated training establishments,” the British said.
Under normal circumstances, two battalions deploy while a third remains behind to train. But in the Ukraine conflict, even the third battalion is deploying, weakening that training, the British said.