Vladimir Putin's decree on «partial mobilization» is so vague that everyone will be grabbed and sent to the front, experts say. The document allows anyone to be drafted. In his speech, Putin announced that only those in the reserves will be drafted, but the decree doesn't mention it. Shoigu says that about 300,000 reservists will be drafted and that students won't be affected, but two days before that, United Russia began preparing them for the front, proposing that they be given academic leave for the time of their military service in Ukraine.
Ekaterina Shulman, political scientist
The presidential decree published today calls for partial mobilization but does not specify any parameters for the partiality - either territorial or categorical. According to this text, anyone can be drafted, except for workers of the military-industrial complex, who will be eligible for a deferment while they work there. The fact that the mobilization concerns only those who are in the reserve and have some military expertise that is particularly in demand has been mentioned in the speech, but not in the decree. And yes, according to the speech the operation is now preemptive, not special. The special one didn't work out, we have to act in a total manner.
Pavel Chikov, lawyer
The decree does not give any details of mobilization. It is worded as broadly as possible. The president leaves the discretion to the defense minister. In fact, it's the Defense Ministry that will decide whom to send to war, from where, and in what numbers.
The mechanism will be as follows: The Defense Ministry will specify mobilization quotas for each region of Russia. The governors will be responsible for enforcing the quotas. Ramzan Kadyrov clearly knew something when he announced the self-mobilization of the regions.
First, mobilization orders will be sent to reservists: these are men who have served in the army and signed a contract to stay in the reserves. Second, men who belong to particular reserve categories, as I explained yesterday. Shoigu announced a target of 300,000 men. If more is needed, the decree allows for mobilization of an unlimited number of conscripts.
Alexander Peredruk, human rights activist
This decree makes it impossible to say who will and who will not be affected by this mobilization. The decree contains no restrictions, nor does the law. There is a certain order and procedure of mobilization - first of all, reservists must be drafted, i.e. those who have a special contract, they will be drafted first. The second category is people who are in the first category of the reserve. The structure of the reserve is approved by federal law and is divided into three categories. The first one is men under 35 who have served in the military, but as for restrictions, there are no restrictions, absolutely everyone can be drafted from the reserve. There is no legal regulation.
As for the inability to leave their place of residence, the law says that if a mobilization is announced, the persons who are registered for military service cannot leave their place of residence. No one knows how this will work in practice, because we have never had such practice before. The law says in general terms that citizens who are on the military registry cannot leave their place of residence from the moment mobilization is announced without special permission. Not only people in the reserve are registered for military service, and this is an important point. No one understands how it will work.