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Russia Calling Up Ukrainian Citizens in Country’s Temporarily Occupied Territories

Putin war

Сaricature of Putin. War in Ukraine

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemns Russia’s conscription for the military service in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and in the city of Sevastopol and mobilisation of Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories.

From 1 April to 15 July 2022, another spring conscription campaign is taking place in Russia, which the occupying power will also hold in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine in violation of international humanitarian law.

Since 2014, the Russian occupation administration has recruited about 34,000 Crimean residents into the armed forces of the Russian Federation, some of whom were forcibly involved in hostilities against Ukraine.

“We draw attention to the fact that against the background of the ongoing war with Ukraine, Russia has increased the number of people who will be called up as part of the spring conscription campaign. Russia’s enforced mobilisation of the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions not controlled by the Government of Ukraine, as well as the territories temporarily occupied by it after 24 February, and forcing these citizens of Ukraine to fight against their state on the side of Russia is a war crime,” the diplomats said.

Preparing for an insidious attack on Ukraine, Russia began the so-called “general mobilisation” in the territories not controlled by the Government of Ukraine on 19 February and later expanded the age limit, which is now 18-65 years, to increase the number of people mobilised.

Russia forcibly sends mobilised Ukrainians to the combat zone without any contact with their relatives.

A special cynicism is Russia’s mobilisation of Ukrainian citizens who are leaving the war zone through humanitarian corridors.

“It is clear that by these illegal actions the Kremlin regime is trying to compensate for the unprecedented losses suffered by the Russian invaders during the armed invasion of Ukraine. The Russian authorities have an urgent need to staff the ranks of conscripts and those mobilised to conduct hostilities in the territory of our state,” the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine considers.

As a reminder, under international humanitarian law, the occupying power is forbidden to force protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces and to exert pressure or propaganda that aims at securing voluntary enlistment.

Despite the published facts about captured and killed Ukrainian citizens from the temporarily occupied Crimea, as well as certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, information about their participation in the war against Ukraine is carefully concealed and denied by the Russian authorities.

Russia must abolish the illegal conscription in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, stop mobilising the population of the Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions, eliminate all the consequences, and ensure strict compliance with its international obligations as an occupying power.

We call on the international community to condemn Russia‘s actions, demand that it withdraw its forces and equipment from Ukraine, and demonstrate a constructive position in the negotiations to restore peace as soon as possible.

Natalia Tolub

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