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St. Petersburg government officials seen trying to recruit homeless people for war in Ukraine

Employees of the Saint Petersburg Frunzensky district administration have been seen coming into one of the shelters of the Russian NGO helping homeless people Nochlezhka and offering the people taking refuge there to sign military service contracts, the NGO itself told Saint Petersburg’s media outlet Bumaga.

Photo: Rotonda

The press service of the NGO said that the officials visited one of their shelters on 17 August. According to a Nochlezhka representative, the administration employees tried to talk to the people taking shelter there and give out leaflets with information on contract service.

However, the administrator of the shelter did not let them in and proposed that the officials talk to the organisation’s management. Eventually, they simply left. Later on, the officials tried to contact representatives of the NGO by email with the aim of sharing the contract service leaflets.

“We have always been outside of religion and politics, so we can’t help them whatsoever in this matter,” clarified Tatiana Bazhenova, the PR representative of Nochlezhka.

Russian media outlet Rotonda got confirmation from the Frunzensky district administration that its employees had visited the shelter. The administration clarified that the visit had been an initiative of individual officials, the aim of which was to “share the contract service information with everyone they possibly can”.

Previously, there were reports about Russian convicts being sent to fight in Ukraine. In particular, a Yaroslavl penal colony convict told Russian outlet Mediazona that 373 people from three local colonies had been sent there.

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