NewsBirthday celebration interrupted by Russian authorities. Partygoers leave as recruits

Birthday celebration interrupted by Russian authorities. Partygoers leave as recruits

In Russia, another wave of military conscription begins, residents are fearful.
In Russia, another wave of military conscription begins, residents are fearful.
Images source: © Getty Images | Sean Gallup
9:07 AM EST, November 16, 2023

Russian services invaded a birthday celebration at a restaurant in Voronezh to issue military summonses. The partygoers, predominantly of Azerbaijani descent but Russian citizens, unexpectedly received what some are calling "gifts" from the authorities.

This unique "round-up" for the army occurred in Voronezh, 310 miles (an approximate conversion from 500 km) south of Moscow and across the Don River. The attendees, Russian citizens with an Azerbaijani background, were surely regretful of their attendance that day.

Local media reported that all attendees were detained, causing the celebration to halt promptly. The apparent reason? To establish their eligibility for military service. Of the approximately 50 guests of Azerbaijani origin but holding Russian citizenship, each was handed an army summons as an unexpected "gift".

Details of the incident were covered by both state and opposition-run Russian media outlets. The Russian public continues to debate who should serve in the army and engage in the conflict in Ukraine. There is a pervasive unwillingness to enlist, driven by a fear of dying on the front line and a lack of trust in assurances of army service conferring prestige, financial reward, and governmental gratitude.

The Kremlin is hesitant to initiate another round of compulsory mobilization due to the upcoming presidential elections in March. This has resulted in covert drafting activities, often targeting those deemed second-class citizens who are then coerced into joining the military.

Russian society highlighted potential recruits several months ago. With a shortage of volunteer soldiers and a depletion of the prison population, the authorities decided to target national minorities and residents of occupied territories.

Those influenced by Kremlin propaganda maintain that immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Caucasian countries, who number several million in Russia, should be the ones to risk their lives for Russia in the Ukrainian conflict. The drafting process was strategically planned to avoid residents of major cities such as Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Kazan, and Samara.

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