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Putin says farmers among Russians drafted for war, signals low crop production

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A week ago Russia declared a “partial mobilization” calling up 300,000 reservists in a major escalation of its flagging invasion of Ukraine which triggered alarm and demonstrations. Today, President Vladimir Putin told that farmers are among the Russians being drafted into the military signalling potential further risks for the 2023 crop. He was addressing a meeting with officials .

Russia is the principal exporter of wheat worldwide. Harvesting soybeans and sunflower seeds, as well as sowing winter wheat for the following year’s crop, keep farmers busy in the autumn. Rains have already significantly postponed the sowing of winter grains.

“I would also like to address regional heads and the heads of agricultural enterprises. As part of the partial mobilisation, agricultural workers are also being drafted. Their families must be supported. I ask you to pay special attention to this issue,” Putin told the televised meeting.

As part of what Moscow refers to as its special military operation in Ukraine, Russia announced its first public mobilisation since World War Two on Wednesday. This has caused eligible men to rush for the border and unease in the general populace.

As part of the mobilisation effort, 300,000 more Russians, according to officials, will be called up to serve. Some areas of southern and central Russia that border Ukraine, like the Kursk region, are important grain-producing areas.

In addition, Putin informed that Russia is on schedule to harvest a record 150 million tonnes of grains in 2022, including 100 million tonnes of wheat.

Many Russians are protesting against drafting of citizens for war in Ukraine. Many Russians were detained for protesting against Putin’s order to mobilise the forces. Some of the male detainees were handed draft notices.

Earlier on 22 September, the Finnish Border Guard had reported that the traffic arriving at Finland’s eastern border with Russia “intensified” overnight.

Finland shares a 1,300-km long border with Russia, which is the longest in the European Union. Finland is closely monitoring the situation in its neighbour after President Vladimir Putin’s order of military mobilisation for the war in Ukraine, Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen said on Wednesday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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