Russian officer suspended after thousands called up in error

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An enlistment officer in a far eastern Russian region has been suspended and transferred after thousands of people were mistakenly called up to fight in Ukraine, officials said Monday. “The military commissar of the Khabarovsk region, Yuri Laiko, has been suspended. This will have no impact on the fulfilment of the tasks that the president has set for us,” the region’s governor, Mikhail Degtyaryov, said in a Telegram video.

He did not specify the reason for the dismissal but referred to a series of mistakes in the recruitment process. “Out of several thousand compatriots who received a summons and arrived at military enlistment offices in the past 10 days, around half were sent back home for failing to meet the selection criteria,” Degtyaryov said.

“Partial mobilisation should only apply to the categories that have been approved by the ministry of defence and the president. Any abuse must be stopped,” he also said. Laiko was transferred to the nearby region of Magadan, a military spokesman told state news agency RIA Novosti.

The previous military commissar there had also been removed from the post for mistakes in the mobilisation drive, according to RIA Novosti.

In Russia’s East Siberian region of Yakutia around 300 men were sent back home after being wrongfully called up, according to a local official cited by Russian news agency TASS. President Vladimir Putin on September 21 ordered a mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of Russians to fight in Ukraine, sparking protests and an exodus of eligible men from the country.—AFP

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