Social media videos show the first phase of Russia’s partial mobilization underway in several Russian regions, notably the Caucasus and the Russian Far East.
Telegram video shows a newly mobilized group of men waiting for transport to Amginsky Ulis in the region of Yakutia, a vast Siberian region – where the caption on one video read, “50 mobilized men Going into the special operations area.”
Another shows a group of about 100 newly mobilized soldiers waiting at Magadan airport in the Russian Far East, next to a transport plane. The group receives instructions on smoking and other rules inside the plane and is warned that it will be cold inside the plane and there are no toilets on board.
Still in the Russian Far East, in the town of Neryungari, a community video channel posted video of families saying goodbye to a large group of families as they board buses. In the video, a woman is seen crying and saying goodbye to her husband by hugging him while he reaches out to hold his daughter’s hand through the bus window.
Nerungari is six time zones in the east of Ukraine.
CNN is not able to independently determine the geographic location or date of all videos posted.
The Republic of Buryatia has already supplied hundreds of volunteers to the conflict in Ukraine. The Central Asian region could be the sender of many more. According to a community Telegram channel called The People of Baikal, “They can mobilize 6-7 thousand people in Buryatia. Officials do not name the exact number.”
“Bus is coming with people gathered in Ulaan-Ude” [Buryatia’s capital] in the morning. The men are taken to the Military Commissariat’s assembly point…,” it said.
The channel, which has just under 5,000 subscribers, describes itself as an independent. It quoted a local official as saying, “We were given a verbal order that the mobilized people be picked up from their beds, put them in cars and brought them immediately to the military registration and enlistment office.”
It is not possible to verify channel reporting.
In Dagestan in the Caucasus, according to a video, a fierce argument broke out in a recruiting office. A woman said that her son had been fighting since February. One man said that he should not have sent him, he replied, “Your grandfather fought so that you may survive,” to which the man replied: “First it was war, now it is politics.”
A crowd had gathered near the city of Belgorod, very close to the Ukrainian border, to watch a group of newly mobilized men. As they board the bus, a boy shouts, “Goodbye, Daddy!” And starts crying.
Other steps are being taken to increase the flow of troops.
According to Russian news agency TASS, Russia’s Human Rights Council has proposed that immigrants from Central Asian countries who have held Russian citizenship for less than 10 years must undergo compulsory military service in Russia for one year.