- Russia is keeping dual-citizen migrant workers from leaving the country, UK military intel says.
- It cited a report that said Kyrgyz workers were stopped by border guards as they tried to leave.
- Russia is “keeping open the option” of another round of military call-ups, per the update.
Russia is preventing migrant workers with dual citizenship from leaving the country as it looks towards another potential round of military call-ups, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
In an intelligence update on Monday, the ministry said that Russian border guards were preventing some migrant workers, specifically those from Kyrgyzstan, from returning to their homeland, citing media reports.
—Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) January 30, 2023
This appears to be referring to a RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty report that said Kyrgyz workers who have been naturalized as Russian citizens and are now eligible for the military draft were being stopped when attempting to cross the Russian border.
The report said that one man in his 50s was trying to cross into Kazakhstan but was told by Russian border guards that he was included on the mobilization list and would be unable to go abroad until mid-February.
RFE/RL was unable to independently verify the claim, the report said.
The UK defense ministry said these reports come as Russian authorities are “keeping open the option” of another round of military call-ups.
In September, the country called up 300,000 reservists as it struggled to make progress in its war in Ukraine.
Russia has denied it is preparing for another wave of mobilization, with President Vladimir Putin saying last month that it was “pointless” to talk about it.
But this latest UK military update said that Russia’s leadership is “highly likely” to continue looking for ways to meet the huge numbers of personnel required to launch any future offensive in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Ukraine’s military warned that Putin was planning to mobilize up to half a million new troops in preparation for a new spring offensive.