Military investigators conduct raids in Murmansk region to enlist young men

A file photo of Novatek’s Kola Yard construction site of in the village of Belokamenka in the Murmansk Region. There are reports workers in this, and other regions of Murmansk Oblast, are being targeted by military investigators. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)

Military investigators are conducting raids at public places, dormitories and abandoned facilities in Murmansk region with the aim to find young men to send to the army commissariat.

Hundreds of Russian soldiers are reportedly killed or wounded in the war against Ukraine every day. Thousands of contract warriors and volunteers from different structures of the Northern Fleet are among those dead and buried. Especially the 200th Motorized Brigade in Pechenga near the border with Norway has lost huge numbers of soldiers.

Although new conscripts were assured they would not be sent to the frontlines in occupied Ukraine, multiple reports tell about many being pressured to sign up as soon as the basic training is done.

Like every spring, the Russian ruler this March signed a decree to enrol new conscripts. 150,000 this time, the decree signed by Putin says. That is up 20,000 from the 130,000 called on last autumn.

Not all are coming voluntarily.

Men with recent Russian citizenship are said to be of particular interest 

Military officers this week appeared on street corners in the Russian north stopping young men. In Aleksandrovsk, a closed navy town north of Murmansk, representatives from the Investigative Committee of the Northern Fleet entered cafés, cantinas and shops checking ID-documents.

According to regional news online B-Port, the investigators were especially interested in non-ethic Russians, men that just recently have received Russian citizenship.

The Barents Observer has previously reported about loads of workers from Central-Asian, former Soviet republics, being employed at the shipyard in Aleksandrovsk and at Novatek’s Kola Yard in Belokamenka.

According to the Northern Fleet’s investigators, many of them have not completed their military registration. People stopped were also informed about options to enrol to the armed forces under contract.

Almost three dozen of men migrants were checked and sent to the military commissariat, according to news online Severpost. One man from Moldova, who recently received Russian citizenship, allegedly agreed to sign a contract to participate in the war against Ukraine.

Northern Fleet newspaper Na Zhdrashiye Zapolyariya last week posted pictures on Vkontakte of young men from the Arkhangelsk region being enlisted to service in Severomorsk.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canada pledges billions for defence, falls short of NATO’s 2%, CBC News

Denmark: Denmark’s Arctic, North Atlantic focus: Canada among new defence attaché posts, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Military exercise apparently disrupts weather images from Lapland, Yle News

IcelandIceland authorizes U.S. submarine service visits, Eye on the Arctic 

Norway: Against Russian aggression: Norway signs security agreement with Ukraine, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia signs MoU with Chinese navy, The Independent Barents Observer

United StatesUS Army sends heavy equipment to Arctic Norwegian port for transfer to Finland, Eye on the Arctic

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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