Russia urges airline and airport workers to join military as war with Ukraine escalates: report

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Russian airline and airport workers have begun receiving conscription notices (a form of national service, mainly military service) after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial military mobilization.

Employees of at least five airlines, including Russia’s top airline Aeroflot, and workers at more than a dozen airports received notices within a day of Putin ordering mobilization, the paper said.

According to sources from three companies, 50-80% of employees can be invited. Kommersant said an Aeroflot official said the group’s three airlines could make up more than half of the workforce.

Aeroflot has not officially responded.

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Most pilots in Russia are reservists trained at military flight schools or privates who have completed military service, Reuters reported.

According to Kommersant, at least five companies have begun compiling lists of employees to be exempted from the draft.

Two of these airlines have sent the list to the Ministry of Local Administration and Transport. The exemption is said to be important for air traffic controllers, pilots and other business, technical and IT professionals, Reuters reported.

Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia’s first mobilization since World War II and backed plans to annex large parts of Ukraine, prompting some Russian men aged 18-65 to flee the country.

ASLO READ: Moscow-occupied territories vote in referendum on joining Russia

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Wednesday that about 300,000 reservists would be called up, most of them combat-experienced specialists.

All Russian men between the ages of 18 and 27 must serve a year in the military, although university students can receive instruction from military instructors in addition to their chosen courses, Reuters reported.

According to The Guardian, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of a mercenary group known as the Wagner Group, is doing the recruiting.

All prisoners have been promised a presidential pardon after six months and a salary of 100,000 rubles (£1,400) a month.

Thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced by Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, which has been going on for more than 6 months.

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