Son of Russian government spokesman refuses to participate in mobilization called by Vladimir Putin

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov defended his son Nikolai on Thursday, accused of refusing to be mobilized for the Russian offensive in Ukraine, after the publication of a telephone conversation that went viral on the internet.

In this video, a blogger calls the Russian spokesman’s son live and introduces himself as an army recruiter tasked with calling up mobilized reservists, following the announcement by President Vladimir Putin.

“A subpoena was sent today,” says Dmitri Nizovtsev, host of People’s Politics, a YouTube channel created by members of the Russian opposition circle arrested Alexei Navalni. “It has a number that you have to call and tomorrow, at 10 am, you have to report to a call center”, continues the blogger, in a serious tone.

Nikolai, 32, looks confused for a moment, then replies, “Obviously I won’t be going tomorrow at 10 am,” suggesting he wouldn’t allow himself to be drafted into the army. “You must understand that, being a Peskov, it’s not right for me to be there,” he added. “I’ll solve the problem on another level.”

“I have no problem defending the homeland. But first I have to understand what I can do as far as I am concerned,” he said in justification.

On Thursday, asked about this video, Dmitri told journalists that he is aware of the case, but assured that “the full text (of the conversation) has not been published”.

On Wednesday, Putin announced a “partial mobilization” involving some 300,000 reservists with “military experience”. Many Russians fear, however, that the mobilization will be much greater.

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