Russian allies speak out as elderly and disabled soldiers conscripted by Putin

Old and disabled men in Russia are being called up as part of Putin’s recent conscription plans to help fight the war in Ukraine.

A clip has emerged from Russian-state media in which host Vladimir Solovyov and editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan discuss recent conscription plans and suggest that men as old as 60 are being called up.

Simonyan said on Russia Today that: “Something needs to be done about it and we shouldn't be upsetting people”.

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Neither presenters directly blamed Putin for this and instead blamed lower-level recruitment officers for the blunder.

Following the broadcast, the Kremlin released an official statement admitting to mistakenly calling up old and disabled people. They said: "There are cases when the decree is violated".

The current decree should only call up 300,000 men with previous military experience from a pool of reservists.

Instead, evidence suggests that this rule is being ignored and unsuitable candidates are being called up as Russia’s army struggles to continue its fight.

Reports suggest that older men with medical conditions are being summoned to examination centres and being told by doctors they are “fit to go to the front”.

Vladimir Putin started the war in Ukraine back in February 2022 citing that he aimed to "demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine".

He also claimed the invasion was necessary to protect Russia from Ukraine potentially joining NATO.

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In recent weeks Russia has lost several key territories in Ukraine and as a result, Putin has implemented the country’s first mobilisation since WWII.

Men across the country are receiving draft papers and some reports are suggesting that many of these conscripts are being sent to the frontline in Ukraine without any training.

There are also fears that young Ukrainian men in Russian-controlled areas will be enlisted to help fight the war against their own country.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky said that these men should use “any means” to hide from mobilisation and if they are forced to fight should “at the first opportunity, switch positions”.

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