The European Union says Russia has launched a conscription campaign in the occupied Crimea and that the move broke international law.
"Today, the Russian Federation has launched yet another conscription campaign in the illegally-annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to draft residents of the peninsula in the Russian Federation Armed Forces," the EU said in a statement Thursday, April 1, as per Reuters.
"This is another violation of international humanitarian law," the EU said. "The Russian Federation is bound by international law, and obliged to ensure the protection of human rights on the peninsula."
- At least 28,044 Crimean residents have been called up for "service" with the Russian army since the beginning of the occupation.
- At least 6,300 men were drafted in 2020.
- Last year alone, Russia opened 81 criminal cases targeting local Crimean residents evading conscription.
- At the same time, 35 such cases were opened in 2019, 38 in 2018, nine in 2017, and none in 2016 and 2015.