Russia forcibly mobilizing Ukrainian medics in occupied regions - GUR

These incidents are specifically occurring in the Kherson, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia oblasts in eastern and southern Ukraine, where Russian forces have managed to establish footholds.

Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)
Russian soldiers march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 13, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/PAVEL MIKHEYEV)

Ukrainian medics left behind in areas occupied by Russian forces are being forcibly mobilized to help aid in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate (GUR) claimed Saturday.

These incidents are specifically occurring in the Kherson, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia oblasts in eastern and southern Ukraine, where Russian forces have managed to establish footholds.

The report specifically pointed to an incident in the city of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv Oblast, where junior medical workers are forced to the front line to give Russian soldiers first aid.

Russian forces have allegedly worked considerably to ensure compliance with these mobilization efforts, such as threatening with execution and, in the case of Kherson, blocking off nearly all exits from the oblast.

Such measures seem to be needed since according to the GUR, the pro-Ukrainian sentiments among the residents and the desire to resist the Russian invasion remain strong.

 People protest the abduction of Mayor Ivan Fedorov, outside the Melitopol regional administration building, after he was reportedly taken away by Russian forces, during their ongoing invasion, in Melitopol, Ukraine in this still image obtained from handout video released March 12, 2022. (credit: Courtesy of Deputy Head for President's Office, Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS) People protest the abduction of Mayor Ivan Fedorov, outside the Melitopol regional administration building, after he was reportedly taken away by Russian forces, during their ongoing invasion, in Melitopol, Ukraine in this still image obtained from handout video released March 12, 2022. (credit: Courtesy of Deputy Head for President's Office, Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

But this is not an isolated report.

Pseudo-referendums and ORDO reservists

GRU reports from earlier in April have indicated Russian efforts at forcing mobilization in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. This was motivated by what the GUR are calling "pseudo-referendums," which they say were falsely filled out by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives using information obtained from Ukrainians who had to provide it to get humanitarian aid. 

Russia has also allegedly tried to mobilize some 26,000 reservists from the pro-Russian separatist-controlled regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. However, the efforts to mobilize residents from ORDLO (occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk) failed, according to the GUR, who noted in a later report how important it was for Russia to try and shore up their numbers amid mounting casualties in the ongoing invasion.

This reported failure came ahead of reports that Russia's FSB arrested Oleksander Kornet, interior minister of the pro-Russian breakaway the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR).

Throughout the invasion, Russia has utilized the separatist militias of the LPR and the fellow pro-Russian breakaway the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). However, this has resulted in losses for the militias as well.

According to a Saturday GUR report, the forces of the DPR have been almost completely depleted in the fighting around the contested key Sea of Azov port city of Mariupol.

This has served to deprive the DPR of their law enforcement as well, adding to the mounting casualties faced by Russian forces.