Russia blames Ukraine for a series of arson attacks military recruitment centers claiming that callers in Ukraine would trick Russian elders into committing such crimes. However, the claim is not supported by any evidence.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Ukrainian agents posed as police officers or creditors in the calls and goaded the Russians into attacking the centers in exchange for a promise to pay off their debts. Some Russians were reportedly promised to recover their stolen life savings.
In this alleged scam, victims were told that the criminals had access to their savings, but would get their money back if they attacked a recruitment center. Victims were also sometimes assured that such an attack would help stop the criminals.
Prosecutors said the phone calls were massive and coincided with Russia’s advance on the Ukrainian front.
In its statement on the alleged fraud, the Russian Interior Ministry stressed that attacks on military recruitment centers are punishable by law up to 20 years in prison.
The Ukrainian authorities have not yet responded to the Russian accusation. Such arson attacks have been frequent in Russia since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
But they have increased in recent weeks, along with a new massive recruitment campaign with a major official advertising campaign.
The Russian news newspaper Vedomosti quotes a nationalist hard-line parliamentarian: Sergei Mironovsaid attempts had been made On August 1st and 2nd alone there were 25 attacks against the centers.
Mironov wrote to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, arguing that the Ukrainian call centers identified in the scams are now legitimate targets for the Russian military.
Last month Russia raised the maximum draft age by three years, widening the pool of men who can be called up for military service.
Before the fall of communism in Russia, all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 27 had to complete a one-year military service. Now the upper age limit is 30 years.
Between January 1st and August 3rd 231,000 additional soldiers were drafted into the armysaid former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, citing figures from the Defense Ministry.
Last September, President Vladimir Putin launched a “partial” mass mobilization, a move that alarmed many Russians and prompted thousands of eligible men to flee the country.
Recent arson attacks on recruitment centers, reported by Russian media but not confirmed by the BBC, included the following: