Wheelchair-bound Russian man ordered to Ukraine front line

Oleg Vasiliev
Oleg Vasiliev

A wheelchair-bound Russian man with spinal muscular atrophy has been ordered to mobilise for the war in Ukraine amid the chaos of the Kremlin’s military draft.

Oleg Vasiliev, from Moscow, received a summons to report to his local draft board.

“He is not able to report to the military commissar because he moves around in a wheelchair and the appointment is scheduled for the fourth floor,” the Sota news agency reported.

Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic condition that wastes away muscles and makes movement hard.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, ordered a mobilisation of men last month after his army suffered a series of defeats in Ukraine.

His forces have lost roughly 80,000 men since the war began, but the mobilisation process has humiliated the Kremlin instead of generating a new supply of soldiers for the front line.

Putin had initially wanted to avoid ordering Russia’s first mobilisation since 1941, insisting that his invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24 was a “special operation”.

The mobilisation order triggered panic among men of fighting age, with hundreds of thousands fleeing Russia in the past fortnight and others going into hiding.

“My cousin is hiding her daughter’s husband in their house at the moment because he received the call to mobilise,” a Russian woman, who declined to give her name, told The Telegraph. “It was lucky that he had already left his village as that night police came and took all the men.”

In some regions, all men have been ordered to mobilise. Retired army officers in their 60s have been served mobilisation orders, as have men in hospital.

Central Asian labour migrants working in Moscow have also reported that they are being targeted for mobilisation.

They have said they have been promised a healthy monthly salary and fast-track Russian citizenship in exchange for signing up to fight, even though their governments have said fighting in Ukraine is illegal.

Russia’s chaotic mobilisation drive has embarrassed even staunchly pro-Kremlin propagandists, with some accusing the Kremlin, and in particular the ministry of defence, of incompetence and lying.

“It is no longer possible to replace reality with beauty reports,” Rybar, a blogger, told his one million subscribers.

Published by anthonyhayble

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