Authorities of Russia’s Tatarstan report ‘solving issues that have arisen among draftees’ after videos of riots at assembly point emerge online

The leadership of the Kazan Higher Tank Command School in Russia’s Tatarstan has set up phone-charging stations in tents and delivered dry firewood to a local draftee assembly point following videos of riots among servicemen unsatisfied with their living conditions that appeared online, local news agency Tatar-inform reports.

“We’ve found out that the issue with damp firewood came up due to recent rains and sleet: the wood stored on top became damp. We delivered new batches of dry firewood to the assembly point. <…> Besides, phone charging stations have been set up in a number of tents,” the publication reads.

The news agency also stated that head of the Kazan Higher Tank Command School Kirill Kulakov had talked to the draftees about “social matters” twice: yesterday and today. For the second talk, he was joined by Tatarstan deputy PM Rustam Nigmatullin. As a result, all issues have been resolved, and the servicemen have no more complaints, Tatar-inform claims.

Yesterday, videos allegedly depicting a riot of draftees at an assembly point in Kazan started to appear online. According to Telegram channels spreading the video, the servicemen complained of lack of food and water, the inability to wash their clothes, and the fact that they were handed out rusty rifles produced in 1970s that are “dangerous to shoot from”.

Video published by Ostorozhno Novosti Telegram channel

“Where’s the dry firewood? <…> If there isn’t any tomorrow, you’re fucking done for! Where did you put the firewood?” one of the draftees is heard yelling.

The rioting conscripts also chanted “Faggot” and “Come on, get the fuck out of here!” addressing a higher-ranking officer.

In one of the videos, the tank school’s leadership is heard threatening the soldiers with calling the National Guard to disperse the riot. “‘The National Guard keeps it under control’? They can fuck right off!” “Did you piss yourselves or what? You can’t solve the problem?” the draftees shouted in response.

The conscripts also threatened the officers to make some calls themselves: “OMON [Russian riot police] will come and we’ll fuck you up if you keep up with this shit.”

On 1 November, Serditaya Chuvashia (“Angry Chuvashia”) Telegram channel reported a riot of draftees at an assembly point in Russia’s Ulyanovsk. According to the channel, about 100 people took part in the riot. They were unsatisfied with their living conditions and the lack of mobilisation payments. In order to disperse the riot, National Guard units were called in, which managed to “calm down” the protesters.

On 2 November, the Telegram channel reported that the draftees had started to boycott the training exercises.

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On the evening of the same day, head of Chuvashia Oleg Nikolayev commented on the situation. “Naturally, people are tense right now. That much is clear. <…> I am confident that all the president’s decisions will be implemented fully. And the problem of the human factor that arises at a certain stage will be quickly resolved, I’m sure,” he stated.

On 3 November, the Ideal.Realii media outlet reported that the protesting draftees had compiled a list of demands that they plan to present to the head of Chuvashia or his representative. “We’ve found out from deputy head of the republic Vladimir Stepanov that Russia allocated 400 million rubles [€6.46m] from its reserve fund to support the draftees and their families. We demand that these 400 million rubles be equally divided between the draftees and transferred to their personal bank accounts,” the document reads.

By the evening, the draftees were granted a two-day leave, Angry Chuvashia stated.

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