On the night of May 13, unknown individuals threw multiple fire bottles at the building occupied by the Central District military registration and enlistment office in Pushkina Street, Omsk. The story is backed by the locals, who took photos and shared them with Om1.ru. Eyewitnesses say there is a persistent smell of kerosene in the street outside the building, and a forensic team is examining the site.
Security services’ press representatives have refused to comment on the incident, the portal remarks.
Arson attempts at military enlistment offices are becoming more and more frequent against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and spreading rumors about the upcoming mobilization. In Cherepovets, two 16-year-old teenagers also threw bottles with incendiary liquid at the military office building on the night of May 8. The suspects were later detained.
Similar arsons have been attempted in Balashikha, Yaroslavl, Nizhnevartovsk, Voronezh, Berezovsky, Shuya, and the village of Zubova Polyana in Mordovia. In Penza and Ivanovo, fires have been noticed in abandoned buildings used by enlistment offices earlier, reports the BBC Russian Service.
The first case of arson at a military enlistment office since the beginning of the war was reported in Lukhovitsy, Moscow Region. On February 28, a 21-year-old local smashed the windows and tossed Molotov cocktails inside. In addition, the offender painted the gate of the institution in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and left “a provocative caption about the special operation of the Russian Armed Forces”, as the media referred to it.
The suspect was apprehended on March 8, broke free from the police station on March 13, and was detained again on the evening of the same day. A criminal case was initiated under Article 214 of the Criminal Code (Vandalism). The defendant is facing up to three years in prison.
As Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych remarks, “dozens” of Russian military enlistment offices have been set on fire since the war began.