Mobilization in Russia : Recruits die under strange circumstances - while police scour hostels for supplies

90,000 soldiers - that's how high Russia's irreparable human losses could be in the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Mobilization in Russia : Recruits die under strange circumstances - while police scour hostels for supplies

90,000 soldiers - that's how high Russia's irreparable human losses could be in the war of aggression against Ukraine. This was reported to the Russian independent media outlet Wazhnye Istorii (Important Stories) by a former officer of the Russian secret services and an FSB officer on duty. Irretrievable losses are understood to be the dead, missing and wounded who cannot return to military service.

The figures from the two sources come close to the figures that the UK announced in early September. British intelligence officers estimated the total number of Russian army casualties at the time at more than 80,000 people.

In total, Moscow is said to have deployed around 200,000 soldiers to invade Ukraine by the end of September. A loss of around 50 percent of these troops would also explain the mobilization that Vladimir Putin found necessary and announced on September 30th. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, more than 200,000 new recruits have already been drafted.

A second wave of mobilization is now sweeping across Russia. The governments of several regions have said in the past few days that they have received new figures on how many soldiers are to be mobilized. Among others, the Rostov, Kursk and Voronezh regions reported new specifications from Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov hastened to deny the reports. "There is no new wave of mobilization. It has to be clarified with each individual governor what they mean," he explained.

But in Russia this realization has almost become proverbial: If Peskov denies something, then it must be true.

The denial from Moscow has only one effect: the governors are no longer talking about a new wave of mobilization, but about "complete" the required number of troops.

The means used by military commissariats to get these numbers are becoming more and more ruthless -- and creative. Move-in notices are sent via Whatsapp, inspectors take men directly from their workplace. In Moscow on Thursday, police arrested several dozen people in a hostel in the east of the city and took them to the nearest recruitment office. According to witnesses, around 4 am the police began arresting the guests, most of whom were shift workers.

"Without explaining anything, they put us on a bus and took us to some cinema, a mobilization point," one of those arrested told Radio Swoboda. "People were given move-in notices there. They were given uniforms and taken away to an unknown destination," says 37-year-old Ivan.

The passports were taken from those arrested that morning. Inquiries as to what purpose and why the police brought them to the recruitment office remained unanswered. "They told me to just sit in the hall, calm down and wait," says Ivan, describing the situation.

One of the interlocutors of "Radio Swoboda" showed the correspondent a move-in notice. From this it appears that the person who receives it will be sent to Naro-Fominsk. The text mentions the General Military Academy of the Russian Armed Forces in the city.

There were also searches and arrests in other hostels and mini-hotels. Korjun Akopyan, 34, said a police officer came to his hostel's dormitory around 9:30 a.m. Thursday and told him to report to the recruitment office at the Roman Viktyuk Theater. There it should be determined who is fit for service and who is not.

Since Akopjan has a criminal record, he decided to comply with the request. "I wasn't given a move-in notice, I wasn't brought here by force. But I know that refusing or arguing would only make the situation worse, especially in my case. When I got to the recruitment office, I was trying to figure out why I was being summoned here . And whether I can go again if I haven't received a move-in notice. The answer I got was that nobody can get out of here anymore," said Akopjan.

According to him, there are around 50 people in the theater. Some have already received military uniforms.

Several such raids have taken place in Moscow in recent days. At the weekend it hit the "Travel Inn" hostel. Eyewitnesses reported that the police arrived in the afternoon, cordoned off the entrance and the area around the hostel, searched the rooms and took the male guests to the recruitment office at the VDNKh exhibition center.

Last Monday, a mobilization raid took place in a mini-hotel in the Moscow suburb of Myakinino, which mainly housed construction workers. The police arrived there around 6 a.m. and took all the men to the recruiting office, reported the publication "Caution, News".

While the police recruit new recruits, others mobilized die before leaving Russian territory. Most recently, a recruit died in a training center in the Urals. The official cause of death is "drug overdose," reports the Tass news agency, citing State Duma Deputy Maxim Ivanov. However, the deputy did not explain how the newly drafted 27-year-old soldier could have gotten his hands on drugs in the training camp and what he is said to have consumed.

This is the fourth death at the training camp. On October 3, it became known that three mobilized died shortly after arriving at the training center. According to preliminary information, one of the men committed suicide, and a second is said to have suffered a heart attack. The third man was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. He was released home but died a short time later.

In total, at least 18 mobilized men have died in the training camps in the past two weeks. Some of the dead are said to have suffered from health problems that have worsened due to the dire conditions in the shelters. Some suicides are officially listed as the cause of death. Other mobilized died under unclear circumstances. Their relatives testified that the bodies of the deceased recruits showed signs of beatings.

One of the men who died under mysterious circumstances was called Denis Koslow. The 44-year-old was drafted on September 27 and taken to a training camp. Three days later, relatives were informed that Denis was going to return home - in an ambulance. "I ran to the neighbors and asked for help to get Denis out of the ambulance. He couldn't walk himself. He was conscious, but didn't recognize his father and me immediately," reported Denis' mother in an interview with "Radio Svoboda".

"They said at the police station that my son was released because of a bad knee. But when he was brought home on September 30th, his nose was broken. All the neighbors saw it. And his stomach was all blue. I'm sure , he was beaten there, very badly. But now I can't prove anything! I've lived here all my life and I know how they're going to conduct the 'investigation'," the distraught mother said, referring to the inactive authorities.

Three days after returning home, Denis was buried. Other mobilized people reported that Denis got into a fight with another recruit on the night of September 28, the grieving parents assure. Denis is said to have been hit on the head and fallen. They were informed of the diagnosis "blunt abdominal trauma" by telephone. There is no trace of this diagnosis in the official doctor's report.