Russian conscripts are told there are no first aid kits available
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In Sevastopol, women cheered as conscripts were led away to play out President Vladimir Putin’s bidding in Ukraine. One mother stunned Twitter users after a shared video captured the moment she defended the partial mobilisation. She said: “Of course I support mobilisation. It’s because I raised men, not… I won’t be voicing whom, sorry for my language.
“He’s a man, the motherland calls, so it must be!
“Of course, I have all kinds of doubts and I wouldn’t want it but what else is there to do?
“I won’t be hiding him anywhere. I have another son. He is 37 years old, he has two children.”
Twitter users were quick to criticise the mother.
Michal Duus wrote: “I pity any child born to a mother like that.”
Julie Dole added: “Wait until her second son gets drafted.”
Another suggested: “If this war drags on for years, it will be five lads. Her two sons and his three kids.”
Alex added: “Life is nothing for them. Like someone said, when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose.”
And @FedoraTrading said: “Disposable offspring, eh. They’ll think different after the UA pays them a visit.”
Russian pundit says men fleeing to Belarus will be 'apprehended'
Putin is beginning to understand the “colossal mistake” he has made in invading Ukraine, western officials believe, amid signs his grip on power may have been weakened.
The Kremlin is expected to move swiftly to annex four territories occupied by his forces in the east of the country after conducting a series of “sham” referendums on joining the Russian Federation.
The move was denounced by western officials as a “panic” measure after reverses suffered by Russian forces in a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the north of the country.
Officials report growing opposition to the Russian leader after his announcement last week of a partial mobilisation of military reservists, with an estimated 250,000 men having left the country to avoid the draft.
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The exodus comes on top of 400,000 thought to have left in the immediate aftermath of the invasion in February, including many of the country’s best-educated and most skilled workers, adding to the pressure on a Russian economy already hit hard by sanctions.
Protests against the mobilisation are also reported to be increasing, with western officials saying they tracked 17 fires started at recruitment centres in the four days after the call-up.
One official said it is becoming increasing clear to the Russian people that their country has suffered a humiliation which could ultimately weaken Mr Putin’s grip on power.
“The mobilisation announcement means that more and more Russians are coming to understand that they are being lied to,” the official said.
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