Russian officer suspended after thousands of mistakenly summoned

An enlistment officer in a region of Russia’s Far East was suspended and transferred after thousands were mistakenly called to fight in Ukraine, officials said Monday.

“The military commissioner of the Khabarovsk region, Yuri Laiko, has been suspended. This will have no impact on the fulfillment of the tasks the president has assigned us, “said the governor of the region, Mikhail Degtyaryov, in a Telegram video.

He did not specify the reason for the dismissal but referred to a number of errors in the hiring process.

“Out of several thousand fellow countrymen who received a citation and arrived at military enlistment offices in the past 10 days, about half were sent home for not meeting the selection criteria,” Degtyaryov said.

“Partial mobilization should only apply to categories that have been approved by the defense ministry and the president. Any abuse must be stopped, “she also said.

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Laiko was relocated to the neighboring Magadan region, a military spokesperson told the state news agency RIA Novosti.

According to RIA Novosti, the previous military commissioner had also been removed from office due to errors in the mobilization campaign.

In Russia’s Yakutia region of eastern Siberia, around 300 men were sent home after being wrongfully recalled, according to a local official quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

On September 21, President Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Russians to fight in Ukraine, sparking protests and an exodus of suitable men from the country.

Authorities said they would call 300,000 people with “relevant” skills or military experience.

But there were outbursts of frustration after ineligible people, including students and the elderly or infirm, received the summons.

Last week Putin said officials should “correct all mistakes” made during the recruiting campaign.

Protests have erupted across Russia, including Dagestan, an impoverished region of the Caucasus that has seen more men killed in the offensive than anywhere else in the country, according to a tally of death warnings published online by independent media.

The military commissioner of Derbent city in Dagestan apologized in a statement late last week after footage circulated on social media showed official cars with loudspeakers driving around calling all men to the mobilization offices.

Commissioner Farid Musaev said employees responsible for making the “wrong” calls would be “held accountable”.