Russia-Ukraine War: Families bid adieu to 'mobilized Russian soldiers' with blessings and tears

Seen off with emotional goodbyes from loved ones and blessings by priests, young men are being transported to military bases to fight in the Russia-Ukraine War.
A Moscow recruitment poster bears the slogan "Glory to the Heroes of Russia" in order to attract people to fight in the Russia-Ukraine War.
A Moscow recruitment poster bears the slogan "Glory to the Heroes of Russia" in order to attract people to fight in the Russia-Ukraine War.EPA-EFE

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin's recently announced "partial mobilization" for the war in Ukraine, many draftees, including some claiming to have no military experience, are reporting to their assigned collection points around the country for service.

Seen off with emotional goodbyes from loved ones and blessings by priests, young men are being transported to military bases to fight in the Russia-Ukraine War.

There have been scattered protests around the country and a number of mobilization processing centers have been attacked. There are also reports that hundreds of thousands of Russians have fled the country to avoid the draft since it was announced by Putin.

Russian recruits gather inside a military processing center in Bataysk, in southern Russia's Rostov-on-Don region on September 26. A recent Ukrainian counteroffensive swept Russian forces out of most of the Kharkiv region, with reports of heavy losses of soldiers and weapons.
Russian recruits gather inside a military processing center in Bataysk, in southern Russia's Rostov-on-Don region on September 26. A recent Ukrainian counteroffensive swept Russian forces out of most of the Kharkiv region, with reports of heavy losses of soldiers and weapons.Associated Press

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has told his followers that "sacrifice in the course of carrying out your military duty washes away all sins." The patriarch's comments during his Sunday sermon on September 25 came amid nationwide protests and rising criticism over the Kremlin's recent announcement of a "partial mobilization" to replenish Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

An Orthodox priest blesses soon-to-be soldiers.
An Orthodox priest blesses soon-to-be soldiers.Sergey Pivovarov (Reuters)

Heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces is under way in parts of eastern Ukraine and the northeast Kharkiv region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the eastern Donetsk region remained Ukraine's -- and Russia's -- top strategic priority, with fighting under way in several towns as Russian troops try to advance to the south and west.

The Ukrainian armed forces' southern command said on September 27 that its counteroffensive in the southeastern Kherson region had resulted in enemy losses of 77 servicemen, six tanks, five howitzers, three antiaircraft installations and 14 armored vehicles. The claim could not be independently verified.

The number of people detained in Russia for protesting against the country's partial military mobilization has risen to nearly 2,500 across the country.

Tearful farewells were frequent among the families of draftees in the Siberian town of Tara in the Omsk region.
Tearful farewells were frequent among the families of draftees in the Siberian town of Tara in the Omsk region.Reuters

UN Human Rights Council investigators have concluded that Russia committed war crimes in Ukraine, such as bombings of civilian areas, "a large number of executions," "consistent accounts of torture," and sexual violence that included the rape of children.

The European Union plans to join the United Kingdom and others in imposing sanctions on the organizers of "illegal, illegitimate referendums" that are being conducted in four regions of Ukraine that are at least partially controlled by Moscow.

The referendums, which began on September 23 and run until September 27, have been condemned by Kyiv, Western leaders, and the United Nations as an illegitimate, choreographed precursor to the illegal annexation of the territory by Russia. (KB/RFE-RL)

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