Videos of Russians leaving for war in Ukraine are being widely shared after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilisation of his reserve forces, with one clip punctuated by a child’s emotional cries for his “papa” as he bids farewell.
The child in question cannot be seen in the video but his crying can be heard as Russians board buses amid Russia’s mobilisation drive to boost its faltering troop numbers in the Ukraine invasion.
The undated video circulating on the messaging platform Telegram, was taken in the Belgorod region’s Staryi Oskol city, according to BBC News.
The broadcaster, which published the video on Thursday, said it spoke to locals, including a woman who was present during the filming of the video.
On Thursday, Russian media reported Moscow was looking to mobilise up to one million reservists for the Ukraine war.
Earlier, defence minister Sergei Shoigu had confirmed the mobilisation of 300,000 forces after Russian president Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the decision on Wednesday.
The mobilisation effort by Russia is the first such since the Second World War.
In a special address to the nation, Mr Putin had announced the partial mobilisation of military forces in what is seen as a dramatic escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“We are talking about partial mobilisation, that is, only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be subject to conscription, and above all, those who served in the armed forces have a certain military speciality and relevant experience,” Mr Putin said.
Moscow’s decision to mobilise comes after Russian-controlled separatist regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes to become parts of the Russian Federation even as Ukraine has recently reclaimed control of some territories.
The referendums are expected to begin on Friday in Luhansk, Kherson and the Russia-controlled portions of the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.
Hundreds have been arrested for protesting against the ongoing war in several Russian cities including in Moscow.