Days after partial mobilization began, an official was attacked in a remote Siberian town.
A military recruitment officer was severely wounded after a man opened fire at a center in the town of Ust-Ilimsk in Irkutsk Region in Russia’s Siberia on Monday morning, the local authorities have said. There were no other casualties in the attack, they added.
The incident occurred amid partial mobilization in Russia, which was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. According to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, 300,000 reservists are going to be drafted amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
A video has allegedly captured the perpetrator shooting chief enlistment officer Aleksandr Eliseyev from point blank as the victim was delivering a speech before the recruits. The gunman then shouted: “Everybody out,” with all the people who were in the room rushing outside in a panic.
“We came to the recruitment center and handed out papers. The chief recruitment officer took us to the conference room and began speaking about the situation in the country. That’s when the gunman jumped up from his seat; after that he shot at the officer,” one of the witnesses recalled, adding that at least two shots were fired.
The attack was first confirmed by Irkutsk Region governor Igor Kobzev, who wrote on Telegram that the wounded chief enlistment officer was placed “in intensive care in critical condition. The doctors are now fighting for his life.”
The governor said that he was “ashamed that such a thing happens at a time when all of us must stand united” and announced additional security measures in the region.
The national guard said that the suspect tried fleeing the scene, but was detained by its troops. A sawed-off gun was seized from him. The man hasn’t been registered as the owner of the weapon, the force added.
An investigative committee has described the shooter as a 25-year-old local man, saying that criminal cases on attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and illegal possession of arms have been launched against him.
The motives for the attack are currently being established. Some local media outlets claimed the attacker was one of the recruits called up as part of the partial mobilization, but it hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.