Russia says certain workers will be exempt from draft after backlash

·2 min read

The Russian Ministry of Defense said on Friday that some citizens will be exempt from the draft to Ukraine following a partial call up by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week.

The ministry announced that “citizens with higher education” who work in the fields of banking, information technology and telecommunications will avoid the draft, according to The New York Times.

Some companies in those sectors criticized Putin’s decision to utilize the draft, saying that loss of their employees would negatively affect their operations.

Russian newspaper Kommersant, which covers economics, wrote that airlines and agricultural firms were also concerned about the draft, estimating that 50 to 80 percent of company employees could be called on to fight.

The “departure of even a few people will seriously complicate or even paralyze” companies, according to Kommersant.

Citizens have chafed at Putin’s decision to mobilize more troops, which could lead to the addition of almost 300,000 soldiers to the Russian army.

The Russian government detained at least 876 protestors in 38 cities across Russia on Wednesday following Putin’s announcement, including 337 in Moscow and 301 in St. Petersburg.

The Russian president’s decision follows Ukraine’s military campaign last week that pushed Russian troops out of key cities invaded earlier this year. The war in Ukraine has dragged on for longer than the Kremlin expected, beginning with a failed attempt to take the capital city of Kyiv.

The Ukraine has seen success as of late with the help of foreign aid and weapons, a large part of which has been given by the United States.

In his message to the Russian people, Putin said that he wasn’t bluffing when he said he would use anything at his disposal to protect his country, raising fears that Russia would deploy nuclear weapons.

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