Thousands of mobilised Russians sent home, unfit for military duty

Thousands of Russians mobilised for military service in Ukraine have been sent home and the military commissar in Russia’s Khabarovsk region removed in the latest setback to President Vladimir Putin’s chaotic conscription of 300,000 servicemen.


On the battlefield, Putin suffered a stinging setback on Sunday with Ukrainian forces claiming full control of Russia’s eastern logistics hub of Lyman, their most significant gain in weeks.


Russia’s first mobilisation since World War Two, after its forces suffered major battlefield defeats in Ukraine, has led to widespread discontent and forced thousands of men to flee abroad.


Mikhail Degtyarev, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East, said several thousand men had reported for enlistment in 10 days but many were ineligible.


“About half of them we returned home as they did not meet the selection criteria for entering the military service,” Degtyarev said in a video post on the Telegram messaging app.


He said the region’s military commissar was removed but that his dismissal would not affect the mobilisation.


The mobilisation was billed as enlisting those with military experience but has often appeared oblivious to service records, health, student status and even age.


The taking of Lyman by Ukrainian forces sets the stage for further advances aimed at cutting Russia’s supply lines to its battered troops to a single route.


Days earlier, Putin proclaimed the annexation of four regions covering nearly a fifth of Ukraine, an area that includes Lyman. Kyiv and the West have condemned the proclamation as an illegitimate farce.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the capture of the town, where Ukrainian flags were raised over civic buildings on Saturday, demonstrated that Ukraine was capable of dislodging Russian forces and showed the impact Ukraine’s deployment of advanced Western weapons was having on the conflict.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the success of the country’s soldiers was not limited to Lyman and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington was “very encouraged” by Ukrainian gains.


Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday it was pulling troops out of the Lyman area “in connection with the creation of a threat of encirclement”.


It did not mention Lyman in its daily update on Sunday, although it said Russian forces had destroyed seven artillery and missile depots in the Ukrainian regions of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Donetsk


Source: Tap News Agency