Rights activists says migrants from Central Asian countries are being pressured into signing contracts with Russia’s Defense Ministry as the Kremlin tries to bolster the pool of recruits to help fight its war against Ukraine.
Central Asian-born migrants with or without Russian citizenship have emerged as critical targets of Russia’s military recruitment drive. Authorities from countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have warned their citizens to avoid participating in military activities abroad as it violates the countries’ criminal codes.
Speaking to the 7X7 Telegram channel, rights activist Tatyana Kotlyar said five migrants recently told with her about the recruitment situation, including a migrant from Tajikistan who complained to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and subsequently faced issues with the authorities, forcing him to leave Russia.
“A protocol was drawn up against him for a violation that did not exist,” Kotlyar said afterward in a post on Facebook.
“The man told me: ‘We are not considered as people here, we are treated like cattle. I don’t want to be a citizen of that country. I took a ticket, and I’m leaving home.'”
Kotlyar said she has filed a complaint to the regional human rights representative over the situation, but has not received a response.
Mikhail Matveev, the deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Regional Policy and Local Self-Government, says lawmakers plan to submit legislation that would further tighten citizenship rules for migrants if they evade military conscription and mobilization.
“I also believe that in this case, where citizenship has been acquired by a migrant who has evaded the military, members of the migrant’s family should also be deprived of their citizenship,” Matveev said.
According to Russian legislation, those who acquire citizenship have two weeks from the acquisition to register with local conscription authorities.
In April, President Vladimir Putin signed a law depriving citizenship to anyone who is found to have discredited the Russian Army. According to the new law, it is also possible to lose citizenship if the Federal Security Service (FSB), the main domestic intelligence unit, deems that a person “creates a threat to national security.”
Source : Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty