As the first phase of Russia’s new “partial mobilization” got underway on Thursday, videos appeared on social media purporting to show newly mobilized men preparing to be deployed.
In the city of Neryungi – six time zones east of Ukraine – a community video channel posted clips of families saying goodbye to a large group of men, as they boarded buses. The video shows a woman crying and hugging her husband goodbye, while he reaches for his daughter’s hand from the bus window.
More men were shown in other videos apparently awaiting transport in the region of Yakutiya, a vast Siberian territory, and at Magadan Airport in the Russian far east. CNN has not been able independently to geolocate or date all the videos posted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week called for “partial mobilization” of Russia’s population to support the war in Ukraine, at a time when a sudden counteroffensive from Kyiv has recaptured thousands of square miles of territory and put Moscow on the backfoot. Experts say Russia’s forces have been significantly depleted.