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Attackers kill 11 troops and injure 15 on training ground, Russia says

A shooting Saturday at a military training base in the Belgorod region of Russia, which serves as a staging post for the war in Ukraine, killed at least 11 people and injured 15, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said the victims were volunteers “expressing a desire to participate in a special operation,” a term the Kremlin prefers for the war.

“Two citizens of one of the CIS countries committed a terrorist act on the training ground of the Western Military District in the Belgorod region,” the state news agency TASS reported, citing the ministry’s readout. CIS is the Commonwealth of Independent States, a union of Russia, Belarus, Moldova and several Central Asian countries.

“The two terrorists were killed by backfire,” the statement read. It is unclear whether the gunmen were among soldiers or had broken into the training area.

Baza, a left-to-law-enforcement Telegram station, said the shooting happened Saturday morning at the military training ground in the Valuysky district, about nine miles from the Ukrainian border.

The shooting comes amid a widely unpopular mobilization campaign announced three weeks ago by Russian President Vladimir Putin in hopes of replenishing the ranks of depleted and depleted units and turning the stalled Russian war.

On Friday, Putin said 222,000 people have been drafted and 33,000 have been deployed to military units for subsequent combat missions. The Russian army said it plans to recruit a total of 300,000 new soldiers, although human rights groups have expressed concern that the actual number could be significantly higher.

The announcement of partial mobilization sparked protests and a mass exodus of combat-age men and their families, with hundreds of thousands fleeing Russia. Most went to neighboring Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan, the few destinations still available to Russian citizens after the European Union essentially closed the border with the country.

Putin stated that all mobilized men should receive combat training before being sent to the front lines, but there has been a deluge of reports from lawyers, activists and human rights groups that elderly, medically unfit or otherwise exempt men have been drafted and sometimes entered combat with little to none. military experience.

Others said they were forced to spend their own money to buy protective equipment because their military units could not fully supply the conscripts with sufficient equipment.

Gunman attacks Russian military recruiter as thousands flee mobilization

The push to aid a flag campaign in Ukraine was marked by at least one shooting at a recruiting office and violent altercations in military units that killed some newly designated soldiers even before they reached the trenches.

In late September, just a few days after the mobilization was announced, Ruslan Zinin shot a recruiting officer in a small town in the Irkutsk region. Russian media reported that Zinin was in distress after he lost a friend in Ukraine in March and his cousin received a mobilization message in September.

Russians Revolt as Putin Calls on More People in Battle for Ukraine

The chaos of the mobilization effort has drawn criticism from pro-Kremlin state television propagandists and military bloggers who have huge audiences. Under pressure, the regional authorities acknowledged some errors and mainly blamed recruitment agencies and outdated databases. During his speech on Friday, Putin said the “quality of the mobilization effort” needs to be improved.

Some recently mobilized soldiers have already died in Ukraine. The first official recognition came from the Chelyabinsk region near the Ural Mountains, where the governor’s office said in a statement that five residents were killed in fighting.

On Thursday, a journalist from the RT network, whose editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, defended the invasion of Ukraine, wrote that her friend, a 28-year-old official in the Moscow government, Alexey Martynov, died two weeks after death in Ukraine. he received the subpoena.

“He was mobilized on September 23 … No combat experience,” the journalist, Natalya Loseva, wrote in a Telegram post. “He was sent to the front just a few days later and died heroically on October 10.”

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