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Russia’s Electronic Conscription Plan Endangers Ukrainian Men in Temporary Occupied Territories

Russia is preparing to forcibly conscript Ukrainian men in occupied territories by deliberately cutting off communication and switching to digital conscription notices. This tactic, experts warn, will prevent residents from receiving warnings and leave them vulnerable to prosecution as criminals by the occupying forces.

The Russian government has announced the creation of a single digital register of conscripts. Starting November 1, 2024, conscription notices will be sent electronically, a move that will severely disadvantage residents of occupied Ukraine. The National Resistance Center highlights the dire situation: “Now every male resident of temporarily occupied territories after November 1 will be considered a criminal and will be prosecuted for failure to appear at the occupation military commissariat.”

Occupied territories already face severe communication blackouts, impeding even basic emergency calls. This lack of connectivity means that many Ukrainians will be unaware of the digital conscription notices.

Russia’s actions are further compounded by their increased surveillance in occupied areas. The National Resistance Center of Ukraine reports a surge in equipment used to wiretap conversations, both in public spaces and on phone lines. This indicates a targeted effort to identify and potentially punish Ukrainian men who resist conscription.

Telephone conversations are listened to either in automatic mode by keywords, or in manual mode when tracking “disloyal” residents.

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