A gunman opened fire inside a Russian military enlistment office in the far eastern city of Irkutsk, leaving the chief military recruiter in critical condition. The chief military recruiter who was seriously wounded is reportedly a Serbian commander who is fighting for his life, authorities said on Monday.
This comes as discontent over President Vladimir Putin's draft continues to spread into far-flung regions. Chilling video footage from the military recruitment office in the Irkutsk region shows a man walking up to the recruiter who was standing on the stage before he opens fire from point-blank range, while others ran from the assembly hall to save their lives.
No One Wants To Fight
Gruesome video footage captures the moment a man in fatigues walks up to the recruiter as he stood on stage in front of new recruits, who have been ordered by Putin to join the Russian army and fight in Ukraine. The man fires a single shot from point-blank range at the recruiter's head and shouts, "Nobody is going to fight!"
As he fires the shot, other conscripts in the assembly hall are seen running for their lives.
Local news sources identified the man as Ruslan Zinin, 25, who was upset after his friend had been called up to the army and had informed his mother that he would be going to the recruitment office to enlist willingly.
"The man who shot at the head of the draft board of the military enlistment office in #UstIlimsk was detained. He turned out to be 25-year-old local resident Ruslan Zinin," Nextra news agency tweeted.
The Serbian commander who was shot at by Zinin has been identified as Alexander Eliseev. The attack left military commissar Alexander Eliseev in "serious condition," according to Irkutsk region governor Igor Kobzev, who also added that the shooter was arrested "and will definitely be punished."
According to reports by Russian news agency Baza, eyewitnesses claimed the exact phrase said by Ruslan Zinin before he opened fire on Aleksandr Eliseev, the Ust-Ilimsk military commissar, was: "We'll all go home now."
There are also reports that Zinin himself was to have been mobilized today.
Discontent Over Putin Grows
According to an eyewitness, there were no metal detectors at the military registration and enlistment office when the shooting at that location occurred in Ust-Ilimsk. Additionally, the conscript's paperwork was not examined: they looked at the summons, drew a note in the register and left. He had a gun like the one from 'Brat-2', very similar, like a homemade sawed-off rifle," said the eyewitness of the shooting.
The shooting marks one of the most dramatic instances of outrage over Putin's draft of around 300,000 reservists for battle in Ukraine. This comes as a recruitment center in the Volgograd region was firebombed overnight, after opposition to Putin's war in Ukraine continued to grow following his order to begin enlisting civilians to fight in Ukraine.
Video of the incident shows a local resident Mikhail Filatov, 35, backing into the structure before dousing it with gasoline and setting it ablaze.
He has since been arrested and he has admitted to attacking the office in an effort to show his discontent with the mobilization order.
Protests and demonstrations are still continuing across Russia, and OVD-Info, a watchdog organization, reports that more than 2,300 individuals have been detained thus far. People are still leaving the country, with an estimated 260,000 having done so to dodge Putin's call to military service.
In the Caucasus mountains, near Kazbegi, footage showed hundreds of people trekking through while at least one was wearing military-style camouflage.
In the southern Dagestan region, about 65 miles east of the border crossing point, where police and other officials have been attacked, protests against Putin's draught directive have been most intense.
In an effort to dissuade men from being taken away for mandatory military service, women have been seen fighting with police on camera.