The Kremlin on Wednesday denied that Russia was considering a second round of military mobilization for the war in Ukraine as military offices in a number of regions started asking reservists to “clarify” their personal information.
“The country’s authorities and the Defense Ministry have set the task of maintaining military records in digital format…we call up citizens of our region who are registered with the military in order to clarify their personal data,” said Valery Gerasimenko, the Lipetsk region’s military commissar, noting that there were “no mobilization activities.”
When asked about the summons by reporters, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said: “It is common practice. All data needs to be clarified and updated.”
However, Russian enlistment offices have reportedly been offering people to go to fight in Ukraine during these checks, the independent Verstka news website said, citing military sources from the Voronezh region and the Siberian Federal District.
Last month, independent journalists Farida Rustamova and Maksim Tovkailo reported that Russian authorities have created a digital database of citizens who are eligible to be drafted into the military.
The database reportedly includes personal data gathered from the Central Elections Commission, the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Federal Tax Service and others.
Though the database is not expected to launch until 2024, a test version is already ready and could be used in case of a second mobilization campaign, according to the report.
It will likely serve as a powerful tool for recruitment officers across the country if the Kremlin announces a new draft campaign, Rustamova and Tovkailo said.
President Vladimir Putin's announcement in September of a "partial" mobilization of 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine sparked widespread panic and the departure of tens of thousands of Russian men abroad.
Observers speculate that Moscow could pursue a second mobilization as it continues to grapple with high losses on the battlefield, despite repeated Kremlin denials that it plans to do so.