Some had smiles on their faces while others looked concerned as they left home for an uncertain future. Dozens of young men lined up in Omsk for the annual Russian autumn conscription where men aged 18-27 are obliged to spend a year in national service.
Drafts take place twice a year – one in spring and one in autumn – but the timing of this one comes as President Vladimir Putin is beefing up his armed forces amid rising tensions with the West.
It comes days after Russia launched wide-spread nuclear defence drills while the country has also tested an RS-18 ballistic missile allegedly to see if it could defeat US defence systems.
Meanwhile NATO has responded with plans to deploy the biggest force in Eastern Europe since the Cold War. The conscripts were pictured lining up for medical tests in their underwear where they opened their mouths for doctors to inspect, had their chest size taken and general fitness assessed. Once in dark green uniform, they all began to look the same due to the standard ‘buzzcut’ haircuts they were given. They proceeded to sit on long benches eating meals out of metal trays and plastic cups, although the recruitment centre was not quite as basic as it appeared as many troops were seen charging their smartphones in plug sockets.
Once their forms and papers had been approved they began to be shipped out, although they were allowed to say goodbye to loved ones, with many tearing up as they kissed their parents and partners farewell. Many wrapped up in thick coats to stay warm and smoked cigarettes together before boarding a train to be deployed, with conscripts usually sent far away from their home towns on assignment. They sported traditional Russian winter caps and were seen examining their weaponry before boarding the huge train, where soldiers waved through the windows at their families as it left the station. As reported by MailOnline, Britain is to send 800 troops, tanks and jets to Estonia to deter Russian aggression while UK and Romanian forces will also join a US battalion in Poland RAF planes are also being dispatched to patrol Romanian airspace for the first time in a move designed to stop Moscow taking over or undermining its former Eastern European satellites as it has with Crimea and Ukraine.
Sir Michael Fallon said the British mission would incorporate Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior vehicles and hand-held drones. Tensions between Russia and the West have escalated due to Moscow’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Aleppo. President Putin sent a fleet of eight Russian warships through the English Channel to assist the assault on the besieged Syrian city. But he dismissed claims he is planning to invade another country calling warnings of a new Cold War ‘stupid’ and ‘unrealistic’ even as Russia launched a new super stealth submarine. In an interview earlier today, he said he didn’t want world domination or a confrontation with any country, adding that Russia ‘values its independence.’ He added: ‘We have seen some countries pushing globalisation serving only them, but not all countries. ‘Convenient for some countries to paint themselves as defenders of civilisation and bend allies [to their will].’
Putin made the speech as the Russian navy unveiled their new super-stealth submarine, which will be deployed in the Black Sea. The Veliky Novgorod is the latest addition to the Black Sea fleet and is capable of striking land, sea and underwater targets.
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