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Ground Forces: Some online videos of conflicts with mobilization officers are Russian information operation

by The Kyiv Independent news desk June 2, 2024 10:00 PM 2 min read
A recruitment billboard for the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Third Separate Assault Brigade in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Dec. 15, 2023. (Andriy Andriyenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's Ground Forces said that a "heavy portion" of the videos on social media networks depicting conflicts with mobilization officers or Armed Forces servicemen are products of an "enemy information operation," according to the branch's Telegram post on June 2.

The command said it received information about staged beatings and recordings made in occupied territories using cars and minibuses with licenses from other regions, filmed in poor quality to appear authentic.

Videos depicting men forcibly conscripted by Ukrainian officials regularly appear on social media, and violence has indeed occurred at some recruitment centers, making the issue vulnerable to exploitation by Russian disinformation actors.

There have been multiple cases of suspected abuses committed by enlistment officials toward civilians and conscripts since Ukraine started a large-scale mobilization after the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022.

Last year, for example, enlistment staff in Ternopil were charged with torture and illegal imprisonment after videos surfaced of physical assaults.

Enlistment offices across the country came under the attention of the authorities after journalists discovered last year that the family of the ex-head of the Odesa Oblast military enlistment office had acquired property worth $4.5 million since the start of the full-scale invasion.

This led to a nationwide inspection that uncovered already 260 cases of suspected violations by enlistment offices and military medical commissions, including corruption, the State Bureau of Investigation reported on Oct. 10.

The Ground forces emphasized in its Telegram post that videos of real situations are officially investigated and the information is shared with the public.

Ukraine has been working on trying to ramp up mobilization over the last six months as the country's military faces an increasingly critical personnel shortage.

Ukraine's parliament adopted an updated mobilization law in mid-April to strengthen the state's tools to draft for men amid Russia's ongoing war.

Ukraine struggles to ramp up mobilization as Russia’s war enters 3rd year
As Russia’s full-scale war approaches its third year and looks ready to drag on for several more, one topic is dominating the discussion in Ukraine: mobilization. From regional capitals and small villages to the front lines of the east, from the media, the workplace, and the family, Ukraine’s
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