Russia said on Friday it was exempting some bankers, IT workers and journalists from conscription to serve in Ukraine as part of President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that Russia will seek to bring in 300,000 additional troops for Russia’s war in Ukraine as part of what the Kremlin calls a “partial mobilization.”
Vladimir Putin is mobilizing another 300,000 soldiers for the war in Ukraine:
The part of the official decree announcing the mobilization, which specified the number of conscripts, was classified and unpublished, Kremlin press secretary Dmitriy Piaskov told journalists.
The Ministry of Defense of Russia states that some employees who work in critical areas will be excluded from the draft in order to “ensure the work of certain high-tech industries, as well as the financial system of Russia.”
Exceptions apply to certain IT workers, telecommunications workers, financial professionals, and certain employees of “systemically important” media and interdependent suppliers, including registered media and broadcasters.
Russia classifies large employers and major companies in a number of industries as “systemically important” if they meet certain thresholds in terms of headcount, revenue or annual tax payments.
The classification allows firms to receive special benefits from the Kremlin, such as government loans, bailouts and Tate investments, most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Media previously classified as such include many state-run TV channels, radio stations, news agencies and newspapers, as well as some of Russia’s few private media outlets.
The Ministry of Defense said that the heads of enterprises must compile lists of their employees who meet the criteria and can be excluded from the draft.
Many Russian companies appear to have been caught off guard by Putin’s mobilization order, which followed weeks of speculation about how Russia would respond to the conflict, now in its seventh month and in which Kyiv and the West say Russia has suffered tens of thousands of casualties.
“While we are looking into it. We’re trying to figure out how it’s going to work,” a source at a major non-governmental company told Reuters on Friday shortly after the Defense Ministry’s announcement.
Russia’s central bank welcomed the move, which excluded some financial professionals from the draft, and said some of its employees met the relevant criteria.