A statistical analysis by Russian independent media outlet Mediazona suggests that around 492,000 men have likely been conscripted into the army since Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's announcement of a "partial mobilization" of 300,000 men on Sept. 21.
Mediazona's estimate was extrapolated from a massive boom in registered marriages, as drafted men can register for marriage within a day rather than waiting a month as usual.
Numerous videos have appeared online of mass weddings of conscripts and their partners across Russia. Mediazona counted the number of snap weddings registered in 75 regions, comparing the number with the percentage of unmarried couples, to produce a proportion of those mobilized, resulting in a final estimate of 492,000 for the entire country.
On Oct. 14, Putin claimed that Russia's "partial mobilization" drive would end in two weeks. From the beginning, the 300,000 figure was treated with skepticism, with Russian liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta reporting on Sept. 22 that the actual goal was one million.
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