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9 Jan, 2024 15:34

Ukrainian conscription gangs target public transportation (VIDEOS)

Enlistment officers have been filmed detaining passengers in Odessa
Ukrainian conscription gangs target public transportation (VIDEOS)

Ukrainian enlistment officers are now apparently using new tactics to bolster the ranks of the country’s military, stopping public transportation in the streets and detaining service-aged men, local media has reported.

Disturbing videos emerged from the southwestern Ukrainian port city of Odessa on Tuesday, showing enlistment officers boarding a trolleybus and a tram, detaining all men inside and packing them into a bus.

The boarding party included plain-clothes individuals wearing balaclavas, as well as servicemen in full military garb that appear to be from Ukraine’s National Guard. The recruiters were confronted by women who hurled insults and demanded that they leave the men alone.

Nevertheless, the ‘enlistment’ process apparently went on unhindered, with at least one of those filming the activities reportedly ending up being conscripted.

Ukraine has conducted large-scale recruitment drives since the early days of the conflict with Russia, which broke out in February 2022. The mobilization effort has grown increasingly violent and lawless over time, with numerous videos circulating online showing violations committed by enlistment officers.

Military recruiters have been seen on numerous occasions chasing potential soldiers in the streets, assaulting them and even engaging in brawls. They have also routinely used ambush tactics to round up recruits, utilizing unmarked civilian vehicles and even ambulances to take would-be soldiers by surprise.

Ukraine has struggled to make up for the heavy losses suffered during its much-hyped counteroffensive which was launched in early June last year. While Kiev has not officially disclosed the country’s casualties sustained in the conflict with Russia, the number is believed to be in the hundreds of thousands.

According to Moscow’s latest estimates provided by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on Tuesday, Ukraine lost over 215,000 troops and 28,000 units of military hardware last year alone. Last month, Shoigu said that Kiev lost more than 383,000 service members since the beginning of the hostilities, with more than half of the casualties sustained during the summer counteroffensive.