On Wednesday, the website of the Russian legal information portal published a scanned document form of Putin’s decree on the introduction of “partial mobilization” in the country. In the version of the decree uploaded to the page, the seventh point is marked “for official use”, although the version published on the Kremlin’s website simply omits it.
In response to journalists’ questions about the seventh point, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the classified information includes the number of reservists who may be called up for military service.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured on Wednesday that 300,000 soldiers will be mobilized. reservists, but it is already clear that this number may be significantly higher than was announced.
Novaya Gazeta Europa’s source in the presidential administration emphasized that the issue of declassifying the entire text of the decree and recording it under the heading “for official use” was initially considered, and representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry spoke in favor of it.
Later, according to the source, it was decided to declassify only the seventh point, which talked about the number of those who should be mobilized. The number of reservists was revised several times, and “finally settled at one million”.
To confirm this information, Novaya Gazeta. Europe” tried to contact the Russian executive authorities, which, as a rule, receive all texts of presidential decrees, including those classified as “official use”. According to sources in several ministries, they have not received the full text of the decree, and there is no way to see it when searching through the inter-ministerial document management system.
“From my access to MEDO, I see the same text as everyone else: the seventh paragraph is hidden,” said the director of the department of one of the Russian ministries.
Novaja Gazeta Europa emphasized that the designation for “official use” means that the document contains the highest level of information. Its disclosure, in contrast to documents classified as “secret”, “top secret”, usually entails only disciplinary or administrative responsibility.
After the mobilization was announced, the military leaders of at least four Russian regions signed orders prohibiting citizens who have completed their military service from leaving their cities.
At least 1,386 people were detained during anti-mobilization protests across the country on Wednesday, according to OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights media project.