Gunman shoots enlistment officer in Russian draft office 'with sawn-off rifle' amid fury at Putin's mobilisation

26 September 2022, 09:25 | Updated: 26 September 2022, 09:58

Footage circulated on social media showing a gunman shooting an enlistment officer with a 'sawn-off rifle'
Footage circulated on social media showing a gunman shooting an enlistment officer with a 'sawn-off rifle'. Picture: Twitter

By Stephen Rigley

A gunman left a Russian army enlistment officer fighting for his life after opening fire in a Siberian enlistment office "after his best friend" was called up to fight in Ukraine.

A local man identified as Ruslan Zinin yelled: "No-one's going to fight" and "we're all going home now" before firing a sawn-off shotgun in the military enlistment office in Ust-Ilimsk.

A witness reportedly said the enlistment commandant had gathered those being drafted and “started explaining everything clumsily.

"Some guy walked out of line and said ‘nobody’s going anywhere.’ And then I heard 3 shots," the witness added.

He was armed with a gun 'like a homemade sawed-off rifle,' a witness said.

Footage purportedly shows moment man in Russian recruitment centre is shot

Video footage of the suspected gunman after his arrest emerged on social media saying he was understood to have been distressed after his best friend was called up to fight. He himself had not been called up but is said to have told his mother he was going to the draft centre to volunteer.

Chief local military recruiter Alexsandr Yeliseyev is in intensive care fighting for his life after being hit. His condition is described as "grave."

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Igor Kobzev, the governor of the Irkutsk region, wrote on the Telegram messaging app that the head of the draft office was in hospital in a critical condition, and that the gunman "will absolutely be punished".

He said: "I am ashamed that this is happening at a time when, on the contrary, we should be united. We must not fight with each but against real threats.

"I have given instructions to strengthen security measures. I ask everyone to remain calm," he said.

In chilling video footage, civilians and military officers can be seen fleeing from the facility in a state of terror after the gunman pulled the trigger.

Police in Irkustsk haven't commented on the incident, but told reporters: "We are collecting information."

The Nexta news agency said: "In Ust-Ilimsk, #Irkutsk region, a shooting in a military registration and enlistment office took place.

"Preliminarily, the head of the draft board was wounded. The shooter has already been detained.”

“The man who shot at the head of the draft board of the military enlistment office in #UstIlimsk was detained.

"He turned out to be 25-year-old local resident Ruslan Zinin.”

Irkutsk Governor Igor Kobzev said security measures are being strengthened in the region.

The shooting came amid widespread protests against Vladimir Putin's mass mobilisation of Russian forces to fight in Ukraine.

In the southern republic Dagestan, on the Caspian Sea, women clashed with police as they sought to stop men being dragged away into force conscription.They chanted: “No to war” and “Shame on You”.

In one video, a woman is heard saying: “Don’t let them take our men. Don’t allow them.”