A lawmaker from Russia’s main ruling political party, United Russia, which supports President Vladimir Putin, has applied to be sent to fight in the “special military operation” – what Russia calls its war in Ukraine – has the party’s press office said in a statement on Saturday. statement.
Oleg Kolesnikov, a member of the State Duma Committee for the Protection of Competition, said he had military experience and was a reserve major, the statement said.
“I served in the Soviet army in Poland. I was the commander of a self-propelled artillery gun. I got the rank of foreman, now reserve major. And I have to do my duty,” he said.
According to the United Russia statement, applications have also been received from Dmitry Khubezov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection; Dmitry Sablin, Deputy Chairman of the Defense Committee; Vitaly Milonov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Family, Women and Children; and Sergei Sokol, deputy chairman of the Economic Policy Commission and secretary of the Khakass regional branch of United Russia.
Applications will be considered by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the party said.
“Several regional and municipal deputies from United Russia will join the special military operation, many of them have decided to volunteer,” the statement said.
A bit of context: The announcement comes as protesters demonstrated in cities across Russia against Putin’s declaration of “partial mobilisation” this week in support of the war in Ukraine. Some detained protesters were directly drafted into the military, according to a watchdog group.
Experts say Russian forces have been significantly depleted. The announcement would see 300,000 reservists called up, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
As a first sign of the seriousness with which Moscow is stepping up its efforts, the Human Rights Council of Russia has proposed that immigrants from Central Asian countries who have held Russian citizenship for less than 10 years should be subject to compulsory military service in Russia for one year.