Russian Man Reportedly Shoots Conscription Officer Rather Than See His Friend Called For Duty

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Alyssa Blakemore Contributor
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A young man angered by his friend’s conscription opened fire Monday at a recruitment office in Russia’s Irkutsk region, shooting and wounding a Russian draft officer.

Russian authorities immediately arrested the gunman, identified as 25-year-old Ruslan Zinan, the Washington Post reported. “He will definitely be punished,” Irkutsk regional governor Igor Kobzev said on his Telegram blog. The wounded recruitment officer is in critical condition, “fighting for his life,” Kobzev said.

In a separate incident Monday, a man reportedly lit himself on fire at a Ryazan bus station after yelling that he did not want to take part in the war with Ukraine, Euro News reported.

The Russian government has faced fierce backlash after President Putin’s September 21 declaration of a partial military mobilization. Several draft offices have since been attacked in protest of the Kremlin’s announcement, Reuters relayed. Authorities detained more than 730 people nationwide during Sunday’s protests, according to info from a human rights group cited by Reuters. (RELATED: Russia Launches Plan to Annex Captured Ukrainian Territories)

Under a new law President Putin signed Saturday, Russians who refuse to fight in Ukraine will face ten years behind bars, according to Newsweek.

In response, thousands of military aged men continue to flee the country, many heading for Turkey, according to NPR. The arrivals terminal at Istanbul’s primary airport has been flooded with Russian men, ostensibly chosen because Istanbul is one of the few places that does not require visas for Russian travel, the outlet noted. Those unable to book tickets on sold-out flights from Russia to Turkey are flocking to borders with neighboring Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Georgia in an effort to evade conscription.