A drunken mass brawl broke out among Russian troops at a training facility in Yurga, Siberia, video circulating on social media appears to show.
A large group of enlisted men under the President Vladimir Poutineof the recent mobilization decree, were filmed at the base in the Kemerovo region.
Lyubov Eduardovna Sobol, Russian opposition politician, lawyer and member of the Russian Opposition Coordination Council, shared the clip on his Telegram account in late October, saying that regular soldiers from the 74th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the base’s Separate Guards were outraged at the “endemic drunkenness” among the mobilized troops.
They ‘dragged the drunks’ and ‘beat them’, wrote Sobol, who produces an opposition figure by Alexei Navalny YouTube channel “Navalny Live”.
The video shows military officers dragging unconscious soldiers away from the scene of the fight.
On Friday, the governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergei Tsivilev, announced that it was now forbidden for the men mobilized to leave the training center because of the mass brawl.
He made the announcement in a statement on his Telegram channel after visiting the Separate Guards 74th Motor Rifle Brigade.
After apparently trying to downplay the incident by saying that in isolated cases men had left the training center to buy alcohol, he said there would be no repeat.
“My decision is a total ban on leaving the territory of the unit,” the governor said.
“Discipline has been reinforced in the training center: it is absolutely forbidden to leave it, with certain exceptions,” he wrote.
Tsivilev said a maximum of one day off would only be possible if the unit commander allowed it in case of family visits.
The governor also commented on the fight at the training center.
“I met those who were involved… They gave [their word] to all officers and veterans who are here that there will be no rehearsal and that they will not violate military discipline,” he said.
The incident comes amid reports of low morale and drunkenness among newly drafted recruits.
Since Putin’s mobilization decree on September 21, chaotic scenes were shared on social media.
Video shows drunk man staggering on air base tarmac before boarding what is believed to be a mobilization flight.
“A group of not necessarily sober Russian conscripts on the territory of the Dolinsk-Sokol air base located in Sakhalin Oblast, in the Russian Far East,” tweeted the account of Status-6, which covers armed conflicts.
Francis Scarr, of BBCRussia’s state television monitoring service, also shared the video, adding the message, “Absolute scenes at an airfield in Russia’s Far East where a man drafted to fight in Ukraine was so drunk he allegedly got asleep in the tall grass next to the track.”
Russian defense officials said Putin’s mobilization order would affect a total of 300,000 people with military experience, but mistakes were made and ineligible men were called up for service.
Demonstrations erupted across the country, military enlistment offices were targeted and hundreds of thousands of Russians fled the country to avoid conscription.
Newsweek contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.