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The Russian-installed administration in Horlivka, Donetsk Oblast, claimed that more than 20,000 local residents were killed after being forcibly enlisted into the Russian army, the National Resistance Center reported on Aug. 16.
Representatives of the occupation regime shared this statistic in response to Moscow's call for a new wave of mobilization in Russian-controlled territories, explaining that they cannot contribute manpower due to heavy losses. According to the Center, occupation authorities fear that another round of mobilization will escalate social unrest in the town.
The Center reiterated that mobilizing residents from occupied territories constitutes "an international crime."
The report said that Russian authorities have been sending soldiers from the occupied regions to the front line without proper training, "because the Russians benefit from the death of Ukrainians regardless of the side they are fighting for."
The Center also reported that Moscow intends to increase the pace of mobilization in the occupied territories, in part to ease pressure on domestic mobilization efforts. Forced mobilization in the Russian Federation has proven to be deeply unpopular.
The Kremlin's ongoing practice of conducting the mobilization campaign along ethnic lines further sows social division and unrest.