Moscow correspondent for @guardian. Снова там, где здесь нам не тут. Write me at Andrew.Roth@theguardian.com.
As Putin holds a carefully organised audience with the mothers of dead Russian soldiers, I'm reupping our story with top Russian activists saying they were shut out and believed the meeting would be staged. “He doesn’t want to hear the truth."
Kremlin appears to have gone all out with the soldiers' mothers. One, from Chechnya, has two sons: one is a senior military commander and the other is a local police chief who threatened mobilisation dodgers that they wouldn't be allowed to walk the streets if he made it home.
Video of a Russian man opening fire and killing the military commandant in a draft centre in the city of Úst-Ilimsk in Irkutsk region. The military commandant was the head of the local draft committee. He has died, according to reports.
Russians mobilized to fight in Ukraine are coming back in coffins. Relatives are asking why they were sent to the front so fast. Often, they’re told nothing at all. “All we have is a date and a place.” A possible inflection point at home in Russia’s war.
“It’s not a partial mobilisation, it’s a 100% mobilisation.” Midnight summons, vodka-fueled farewells, and showdowns at the draft centers. Russia says it’s recruiting 300,000 but the real number could be 3x higher.
Arrests on Arbat. Hundreds of Russians protesting the mobilization order chanting “No to War”