A gunman has opened fire inside a Russian military enlistment office in the far-eastern city of Irkutsk, leaving the chief military recruiter in critical condition.
Dramatic footage captured the moment the man walked up to the recruiter has he stood on stage in front of new conscripts and fired a single shot at point-blank range while shouting: ‘Nobody is going to fight!’.
The man – identified as Ruslan Zinin, 25 – was angry after his friend got called up to the army and had told his mother that he was going to the recruitment office to enlist voluntarily, according to local reports.
Igor Kobzev, the governor of the Irkutsk region, said military commissar Alexander Eliseev was in ‘critical condition’ after the attack and that the shooter was arrested at the scene ‘and will definitely be punished.’
It comes as opposition to Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine grows after he gave the order to start conscripting men into the military, with a recruitment office in the Volgograd region fire-bombed overnight.
This is the moment gunman Ruslan Zinin, 25 (far left and second right), walked into a Russian enlistment office in Irkutsk and shot military commissar Alexander Eliseev (second left)
Zinin (left) was reportedly angry that his best friend had been conscripted to fight in Ukraine and had told his mother he was going to volunteer (right, conscripts flee for their lives)
Footage shows local man Mikhail Filatov, 35, reversing a car into the building before dousing it in petrol and setting it alight.
He has since been arrested, and told police that he attacked the office as a protest against the mobilisation order.
Gunman Ruslan Zinin, 25, said he shot the officer in anger after his friend was drafted into the military
Demonstrations are also continuing to take place across Russia, with more than 2,300 people arrested so-far according to monitor group OVD-Info.
Meanwhile people continue to flee the country, with an estimated 260,000 having crossed the border in order to avoid Putin’s conscription order.
Footage showed dozens of people – at least one of them in military-style camouflage – trudging past the Kazbegi border crossing point, high in the Caucasus mountains.
Protests against Putin’s draft order have been most-pronounced in the southern Dagestan region – around 65 miles east of the border crossing point – were police and other officials have been attacked/
Women have been filmed clashing with police in an attempt to stop men being dragged away into force conscription.
They chanted: ‘No to war’ and ‘Shame on you’. In one video, a woman is heard saying: ‘Don’t let them take our men.’
In one piece of footage, a police officer can be seen confronting a furious crowd of women – one of whom tells him: ‘Russia attacked Ukraine, we’re not blind.’
The clash suggests that Putin’s lie – that he was forced into war with Ukraine over NATO expansion – is failing to wash with some citizens.
In Yakutia – coldest region in Russia – women staged a traditional dance encircling police in an anti-war protest after thousands of men have been taken into custody.
This comes amid claims that around 30 women protesters were forcibly stripped inside a police station at Brateevo in a ‘classic torture technique’.
Mikhail Filatov, 35, sets light to a Russian military office in the Volgograd region – telling police he did it as a protest against Putin’s mobilisation order
Fury is growing in Russia over Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine after he gave the order last week to begin conscripting people into the military
The women reported the abuse to human rights defenders before their phones were confiscated.
A video shows a protesting grandmother hauled away by multiple heaving armed riot police from her protest close to the Kremlin.
Another shows a man preparing to desert the call up after finding he is expected to sleep on the floor.
‘I came to [fight for] our Motherland, but I’m f***ing refusing,’ said the man from Dagestan on a video. ‘Just look at what’s going on here. I am going home.
‘No bed, no f***ing anything for us here… Not even a bed.’
There are accurate fears among men seeking to flee Russia that Putin – 70 next month – will imminently order the Soviet-style closure of frontiers preventing all males of military age fleeing the call-up by escaping to countries like Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Georgia.
In the Kemerovo region village of Tyumenevo reports say all local men men – totalling 59 – were mobilised, a flagrant abuse of how the system is supposed to work.
As Putin’s alleged partner made her first appearance since June at a sports event, he is believed to be holed up at his highly-guarded northern palace amid forests in Valdai.
Olympic rhythmic gymnast Kabaeva gave prizes at an all-Russian gymnastics competition in Moscow region in her first public appearance since early June.
She looked visibly stressed and tired, as she wore stiletto heels, a black trouser suit and white polka dot shirt.
It is thought some 260,000 Russian men have fled the country into neighbouring states rather than face the possibility of being drafted into the military
Protests have also erupted across Russia in fury at Putin’s decision to begin conscription, with some 2,000 people have been arrested
Kabaeva is widely believed to be the mother of several Putin children whose existence and identities he has not disclosed.
Kabaeva has been sanctioned by the West for her perceived intimate links to Putin.
The low-key appearance follows extraordinary rumours in Russia that Putin had forced her to have an abortion following an earlier report that she was pregnant in May with a war baby.
The Kremlin has not commented on the speculation.
General SVR Telegram channel claimed in May that she was pregnant with a girl.
Russian President Vladimir Putin considered Kabaeva’s pregnancy untimely, and the birth of another, unplanned child, undesirable.
‘As a result, relations between Putin and Kabaeva worsened.
‘And at the end of August, the president insisted that Alina have an abortion, despite the fact that the pregnancy was already more than 20 weeks and there were no medical and social indications for abortion.
‘After the abortion, complications arose and for some time Kabaeva could not appear in public.
‘By order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, thousands of women and children are being killed [in Ukraine’, whose fate is indifferent to him.
Russia is now into its eight month of fighting in Ukraine and is thought to have seen around 50,000 of its soldiers killed in battle
The ruins of a Russian tank are seen in a vehicle graveyard in Izyum, in recently-recaptured territory in the Kharkiv region
‘But he also wanted to spit on people close to him, including his common-law wife and children.’
Amid signs of desperation from the authorities, the head of the Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, called for immigrants from ex-Soviet republics to be drafted alongside Russian citizens.
The he’d of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill told believers they would be forgiven for their sins if they died fighting for Putin in Ukraine.
‘Many die today in the field of internecine struggle,’ he said.
‘The church prays that this fight is finished as soon as possible….
‘Simultaneously the church realises if someone….dies during the duty, he certainly acts as a sacrifice.
‘He sacrifices himself for others.
‘And therefore, this sacrifice washes away all the sins that a person has committed.’
Meanwhile, other Russian women act as if there is no war.
Prominent model, socialite and influence Elena Perminova, 36, posted videos of herself in Italy for the Milan Fashion Show despite curbs on Russians travelling to the EU due to sanctions.
She appears not to have a care in the world as her compatriots inflict misery on Ukraine while others seek to halt the horror from worsening with Putin’s mobilisation.
Kremlin wife Tatiana Navka, 47, posted pictures with her fresh make-up while her husband Dmitry Peskov, 54, deputy chief of the Kremlin administration, acts as Putin’s mouthpiece during the war.