Putin signs law on mobilisation of people who have committed serious crimes

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law allowing the mobilisation of people who have committed serious crimes, RIA news agency said on Friday.

The law excludes those convicted of child sex abuse, treason, spying or terrorism, RIA said.

Putin said on Friday that Russia had mobilised 318,000 people into its armed forces, Interfax reported.

Putin on Sept. 21 announced a “partial mobilisation” amid a series of military setbacks in Ukraine. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the move would see 300,000 reservists drafted for service.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered a one-time payment of 195,000 roubles ($3,200) for contract soldiers and those who have been mobilised to fight in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

Last week Moscow said the “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 reservists was over but conceded there had been problems. Over 2,000 people were arrested at protests amid public outcry over cases of men being called up despite medical exemptions, or a lack of military experience.

In a decree published on the Kremlin website, Putin said the payment was designed “to provide additional measures of social support” to contract soldiers and those who had been called up. It did not give further details.

The minimum monthly wage on offer for contract soldiers is 160,000 roubles ($2,700), which is almost three times the national average.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and members of Russian youth organizations attend a laying flowers ceremony to the monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky on the National Unity Day in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, 04 November 2022. The National Unity Day (or Day of People’s Unity) is annually celebrated in Russia on 04 November. The Day of Popular Unity, a national holiday this year marks the expulsion of Polish occupiers from the Kremlin in 1612. EPA-EFE/GRIGORY SYSOEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

In another development,  Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that he had agreed with counterpart Vladimir Putin that Russian grains sent under the Black Sea export deal should go to poor African countries for free.

“In my phone call with Vladimir Putin, he said ‘Let’s send this grain to countries such as Djibouti, Somalia and Sudan for free’ – and we agreed,” Erdogan said in a speech to businesspeople in Istanbul.

The comment came after Moscow resumed on Wednesday its participation in the U.N. and Turkey-brokered grain agreement, ending four days of non-cooperation that still saw exports continue from Ukrainian ports.

Earlier this week, Putin said even if Russia withdrew from the deal again, it would substitute the entire volume of grain destined for the “poorest countries” for free from its own stocks.

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