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National Resistance Center: Russian occupation authorities to force Ukrainian teenagers into military registration

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 4, 2024 5:38 PM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. Russian soldiers patrol a street in Russian-occupied Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, southern Ukraine, on May 1, 2022. (Getty Images)
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Russian occupation authorities in southern Ukraine plan to force all local teenagers aged 17 to register at Russian-controlled military enlistment offices starting from March this year, the National Resistance Center reported on Jan. 4.

The move is part of Russia’s preparations for a mass mobilization campaign in the occupied territories of Ukraine, according to the center run by the Ukrainian military. The Kyiv Independent could not immediately verify this information.

Russia has reportedly conscripted tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens in the occupied parts of Ukraine to fight against their own country since the start of the full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

Many of them are believed to have been killed in action, as Moscow reportedly uses these people as cannon fodder to expose Ukrainian artillery positions and to cover units recruited inside Russia.

“The enemy benefits from the death of Ukrainians, regardless of which side they are fighting on,” the center wrote.

‘I never planned to fight against Ukraine:’ Forcibly conscripted by Russia, Ukrainians await fate in POW camp
Editor’s note: The location of the prisoner of the war camp the Kyiv Independent visited is undisclosed for security reasons. The Kyiv Independent got vocal recorded agreement from the prisoners of the war to be interviewed and identified in the story. When Yevhen Kalashnikov found an opening to su…

The center called on residents of the Russian-occupied territories “to ignore the initiatives of the occupiers, and thereby not only make life difficult for the traitors (collaborators in the occupied territories) but also preserve your own lives.”

The center reported on Sept. 24 that Russian-installed occupation officials were forming a system of military registration of conscripts among the residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin announced mobilization for his full-scale war against Ukraine in September 2022, and as Moscow claims, a total of 318,000 conscripts were mobilized. However, Russian independent online media outlet Mediazona estimated the figure to be around 527,000.

The mobilization campaign proved to be highly unpopular among the Russian population, which appears to be why Putin may be postponing the second wave of mobilization until after Russia’s next presidential election in March, experts told the Kyiv Independent.

Escaping Russian army: The story of one Ukrainian forced to fight against his homeland
Editor’s Note: The name of the person interviewed by the Kyiv Independent for this story has been changed to protect his identity as he has shared sensitive information that could place him and his family in danger. “If Russia orders us to invade the entire galaxy, we will,” the
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