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Moscow Mayor Announces End of Mobilization in the Capital

Temporary mobilization point at VDNKh in Moscow. Sergei Kiselev / Moskva News Agency

Army draft offices will close in Moscow from Monday as the Kremlin's quotas for recruiting reservists to fight in Ukraine have been met in the capital, city mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced. 

"Assembly points for mobilized people will close on October 17, 2022, at 2:00 pm," Sobyanin said on his website. 

He said "the task of partial mobilization" ­– announced just over a month ago – had been "completed in full" in the city.

Sobyanin said that call-up papers sent out in Moscow were no longer valid. He did not say how many Muscovites had been called up. 

The mayor's announcement came three days after President Vladimir Putin promised to complete his mobilization drive "within two weeks."

The Russian leader said 222,000 people out of a target of 300,000 had already been mobilized. 

Announced on Sept. 21, Putin's call-up drive led to a huge exodus of Russians to neighboring countries.

Moscow, which traditionally produces far fewer soldiers than Russia's poorer and remote regions, is the first to end the unpopular mobilization. 

Sobyanin said the drive had been a "huge test for thousands of Moscow families" and thanked Muscovites for their "sense of duty and patriotism."

He wished mobilized Muscovites well on the battlefield and said he hoped they would return to the capital alive.

"We are all worried about your fate, the difficulties and the dangers that lie ahead of you and those that you are already facing," he said.

"We hope and pray that you return alive and healthy [and] that you return victorious having defended the security and independence of our country."

Sobyanin promised the authorities would "take care" of the families of those called up.

He also vowed to "improve life in military units," after reports of dire conditions in Russian army training camps sparked widespread discontent. 

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