a rare admission
Putin acknowledges 'mistakes' with draft
Amid ongoing protests over his mobilization of reservists, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted on Thursday some "mistakes" have been made, with men who qualify for deferments still being drafted.
This has raised "many questions," Putin said during a meeting with security officials that aired on state television, adding, "all mistakes must be corrected and prevented from happening in the future."
Putin announced last week a partial mobilization of reservists, news that was met immediately with protests across Russia. Thousands of demonstrators have been arrested, with protests continuing on Thursday in an impoverished region of Siberia, The New York Times reports. Putin had said the draft would be limited in scope, only to men with combat experience and skills necessary to fight in Ukraine, but in remote villages, residents said many working-age men were being called up and ordered to leave, just before they needed to work their land ahead of the winter.
During his Thursday remarks, Putin said the people who have been drafted but shouldn't have been include men who have three or more children and men who are above military age. He didn't take responsibility for the errors, the Times notes, and instead "shifted the blame for the failings of his policy to lower-level officials," telling them to "figure all this out. Without fuss, calmly, but quickly, in detail and thoroughly."