Shooting at military firing range in Russia leaves 11 dead

MOSCOW (HPD) — Two men opened fire on soldiers at a Russian military firing range near Ukraine on Saturday, killing 11 soldiers and wounding 15 before being killed, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The shooting attack took place in the Belgorod region of southwestern Russia, on the border with Ukraine, the ministry said in a statement. He detailed that two men from an unidentified former Soviet republic shot at volunteer soldiers during target practice and were killed in the exchange of fire.

The Ministry described the incident as a terrorist attack.

The incident came amid a hasty draft ordered by President Vladimir Putin to bolster Russian forces in Ukraine, a move that sparked protests and prompted hundreds of thousands to flee Russia.

Putin said on Friday that more than 220,000 reservists had been called up as part of an effort to recruit 300,000 men. He added that the mobilization will conclude in two weeks.

Recruitment has been complicated from the start due to confusion by the authorities themselves over who should be called up in a country where nearly all men under 65 are considered reservists.

Even as Putin declared that only those who have been part of the army would be called up, activists and rights groups denounced that military conscription offices recruit people with no military experience, some of whom are not even fit for the army for medical reasons. .

Some of the newly called up reservists posted videos of being forced to sleep on the ground or even outdoors and given rusty weapons before being sent to the front lines.

According to Russian media, some of the recruits were sent into combat without proper training and were quickly wiped out.

The authorities have acknowledged that the mobilization was often poorly organized and promised to improve the situation.

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