According to the top enrollment officer for the city of Moscow, officials are exploiting the extensive network of facial recognition cameras in the Russian capital to find young men eligible for military duty.
A bill that tightens regulations on draft dodgers and mandates that call-up papers be handed online rather than in person by an enlisting official or employer was signed last week by President Vladimir Putin.
Maxim Loktev, the chief enlistment officer for Moscow, revealed on Tuesday that the city’s facial recognition camera network is being used to look for dissenters.
According to Loktev, who spoke to Russian state media, the main reason draftees fail to show up at enrollment offices is because they don’t reside at the listed locations, which prevents them from receiving hand-delivered summonses.
“Moscow’s video monitoring systems are being used to determine where draftees reside,” said Loktev.
“At the direction of the mayor of Moscow, organizations where conscripts work are providing information about them to military commissars. Educational institutions are helping us determine where conscripts live.”
In order to increase the size of its armed forces after mobilising at least 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine, Russia has a pool of young, trained troops that can be urged or coerced to enlist as professional soldiers thanks to the country’s mandatory military service.