The Russian military said Thursday that at least 10,000 people had volunteered to fight in Ukraine, some 24 hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered a mobilization of reservists.
“During the first day of partial mobilization, about 10,000 citizens arrived at recruitment offices of their own accord without waiting for a summons,” Vladimir Tsimlyansky, a military spokesman, told Russia’s Interfax news agency.
He added the military had established a call center to answer questions from individuals and organizations about the mobilization.
Amateur footage posted on social media since Putin made the announcement has purported to show hundreds of Russian citizens across the country responding to military summons.
In the Siberian city of Yakutia, footage showed men with their faces obscured embracing family members – some in tears – before boarding a bus.
Popular Telegram channel Mash distributed footage showing long lines of people waiting to board a plane in the eastern Khabarovsk region as part of the mobilization drive.
A video purportedly filmed in the southern republic of Chechnya showed dozens of young men at a local recruitment office flanked by police.
The footage could not be independently verified by AFP.
The defense ministry has not distributed official video from recruitment centers and has not given information about the number of people handed summons.
Putin on Wednesday announced a “partial mobilization” of reservists and defense minister Sergei Shoigu said the drive would ultimately see 300,000 people called up for service.
More than 1,300 people were arrested across Russia on Wednesday during improvised demonstrations against the mobilization.