Russian airline and airport employees have begun to receive conscription notices (a kind of state-mandated enlistment of people in a national service, mainly military service) after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilisation, Reuters reported quoting the Kommersant newspaper.
Employees of at least five airlines, including Russia’s top carrier Aeroflot, as well as personnel at more than ten airports, received notices within a day of Putin’s order to mobilise, according to the paper.
According to sources in three companies, 50-80% of employees could be called up. An Aeroflot official claimed that more than half of the staff at three of the group’s airlines could be drafted, according to Kommersant.
Aeroflot officially did not respond on the same.
The majority of pilots in Russia are reserve officers trained in military flight schools or privates who have completed military service, reports Reuters.
According to Kommersant, at least five companies have begun compiling the list of employees who are to be exempted from the draft.
Two of these airlines have even sent the list to the local administration and Ministry of Transport. The exemption is said to be critical for air controllers, pilots, and other commercial, technical, and IT specialists, Reuters reported.
Putin ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War II on Wednesday and backed a plan to annex large swaths of Ukraine, prompting some Russian men between 18-65 age group to flee the country.
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Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Wednesday that approximately 300,000 reservists would be called up, with the majority of them being specialists with combat experience.
All Russian men between the ages of 18 and 27 are required to serve a year in the military, though university students may receive instruction from a military faculty in addition to their chosen studies, reports Reuters.
The recruitments are being done by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of mercenary outfit known as the Wagner Group, according to The Guardian.
All prisoners have been promised a presidential pardon after six months and a salary of 100,000 rubles (1,400 pounds) a month, the outlet further said.
Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, which has been going on for more than six months, has led to the loss of life of thousands and displaced millions.