‘I won’t go and kill my brothers!’: Russians set fire to draft centres

More than 50 Russian draft centres have been targeted in arson attacks since the invasion of Ukraine

Olya Romashova

There have been 18 attempts to set fire to draft centres and state administrative buildings across Russia since the Kremlin announced that it was mobilising Russian citizens to fight in Ukraine last week. They are the latest in a wave of arson attacks on draft centres and state offices following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.

The number of attacks had declined by the end of the summer, but since 21 September, when Vladimir Putin announced mobilisation – the first such call-up of Russian citizens to serve in the military since the Second World War – they have flared up with renewed vigour. Russian media outlet Mediazona has studied all the available information about the attacks, to figure out who is responsible and what Russian law enforcement is doing to stop them. Below is a shortened translation of their investigation…