The European Union has condemned what it says is Moscow’s campaign to conscript men in annexed Crimea into the Russian military.
In a statement, the EU said Crimean Tatars were being “deliberately and disproportionately targeted in the implementation of Russia’s mobilization order and reportedly forcibly involved in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, their traditional homeland.”
On Monday, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said the conscription campaign in Crimea was the 16th since 2015.
“In this time, the Russian occupation administration in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol illegally forced about 36,000 Ukrainians into military service,” it said.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry added that “a mobilization campaign is also underway in Crimea, the nature and methods of which testify to the desire of the Russian military-political leadership to reduce the number of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars on the peninsula.”
Conscription controversy: On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow’s “partial mobilization” of citizens to fight in its war against Ukraine has been completed. The conscription drive has been beset by errors, caused angry protests and prompted a mass exodus of Russians to neighboring countries since it was announced in September.