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Russia reports 11 fatalities from the shooting at the Belgorod military facility

Russia reports 11 fatalities from the shooting at the Belgorod military facility

Russia reports 11 fatalities from the shooting at the Belgorod military facility

Russia reports 11 fatalities from the shooting at the Belgorod military facility

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  • Gunmen opened fire at a Russian military training facility close to Ukraine.
  • It left at least 11 people dead and 15 injured.
  • The attackers were citizens of an unnamed former Soviet republic.
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According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, shooters opened fire at a Russian military training facility close to Ukraine, leaving at least 11 people dead and 15 more injured.

The “terrorist” act, according to the ministry, happened on Saturday in the part of Belgorod that borders Ukraine.

According to the report, the two attackers, who were citizens of an unnamed former Soviet republic, opened fire on volunteer troops while they were practicing their aim before being killed by return fire.

The incident occurred as the Russian military in Ukraine are being quickly mobilized by President Vladimir Putin, a move that sparked protests and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Russia. Additionally, it happens a week after a bomb in Crimea, the peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The terrorists “opened fire with small guns on the personnel of the unit during a firearms training session with persons who voluntarily expressed a desire to engage in the special military operation (against Ukraine),” according to a statement from the defense ministry.

In a YouTube interview, Oleksiy Arestovych, a counselor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that the assailants were from the Central Asian country of Tajikistan and that they had started shooting at the others following a dispute about religion.

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Tajikistan is mostly a Muslim country, but over half of Russians practice different forms of Christianity. The attackers, according to the Russian government, were from one of the nine former Soviet republics that make up the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Tajikistan.

Al Jazeera was unable to quickly authenticate Arestovych’s remarks.

The attack took place in the small village of Soloti, near the Ukrainian border and around 105 kilometers (65 miles) southeast of Belgorod, according to the independent Russian news website Sota Vision.

The shooting, according to Elisabeth Braw, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, demonstrated the level of resentment that exists toward Putin’s mobilization throughout Russia and other former Soviet states.

Regardless of the identity of the offender, the murder of 11 soldiers at a Russian military facility demonstrates how inadequately secured those facilities are.

Additionally, it demonstrates how unprepared the Russian government is. After one of the soldiers was shot, they weren’t even able to kill them. 11 soldiers were shot by the attackers, Braw told Al Jazeera.

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“Therefore, it is truly really awkward… Imagine looking at this and thinking, “Well, I best find my way out of the country through any means at my disposal because I don’t want to end up like this,” if you were someone who was about to be called up or feared that you would be called up.

Putin had ordered the mobilization three weeks prior as a reaction to Russian battlefield losses in Ukraine, where Kyiv’s forces were reclaiming territory that Moscow had previously held for months. The eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, which together make up the industrial Donbas region, are seeing particularly heavy fighting.

In an endeavor to recruit 300,000 reserve personnel, more than 220,000 have already been called up, according to Putin on Friday. He stated that the mobilization would end in two weeks.

In a nation where nearly all men under the age of 65 are designated as reservists, officials have been giving conflicting signals about who should be called up for service from the beginning of the mobilization.

Despite the Russian president’s declaration that only those who had recently served in the military would be called up, activists and rights organizations reported that military conscription offices were rounding up individuals without any prior military experience, some of whom were also medically unfit for duty.

Some of the recently activated reservists shared recordings of themselves being given rusted weapons and made to sleep on the ground or even outside before being deployed to the front lines. According to Russian media accounts, several of the mobilized people were killed shortly after being ordered into battle without the required training.

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