Russian-Ukrainian War News: Live Updates

Credit… Nanna Heitmann for The New York Times

Two men opened fire on Russian soldiers at a training camp in the Belgorod region on Saturday, killing 11 people and wounding 15, before being killed themselves, according to Russian media.

Russia’s Defense Ministry called the episode a terrorist attack, according to state media RIA Novosti and TASS, which cited a ministry statement.

The account of the shootings could not be independently verified.

The ministry statement said the two men were from a former Soviet nation and had shot other soldiers during target practice at a shooting range, RIA Novosti reported.

It was not immediately clear whether the attackers were volunteer soldiers themselves involved in training. Earlier reports suggested they were volunteers.

Law enforcement officials are working on site, the statement said, which did not give the name or precise location of the training camp. The camp is in Belgorod, the Russian region which is just across the border with Ukraine’s northeast region of Kharkiv, which was overrun by Russian forces in the initial phase of the war but has was recently recovered by Ukraine.

The shooting came after President Vladimir V. Putin announced a major mobilization last month to shore up his faltering war effort in Ukraine, where the Ukrainian army has retaken territory to the east and south occupied by Russia. .

Mr Putin said at least 220,000 reservists had been called up. At least 16,000 of them have been deployed “in units involved in carrying out combat tasks”, Putin told a press conference in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday, adding that he expected the mobilization to be completed within two weeks.

Russian media reported at least seven deaths among those recently conscripted. Asked on Friday why some servicemen had died so soon after the mobilization began, Putin said that in some cases training could take as little as 10 days.

At the end of September, Mr Putin admitted that there had been “mistakes” in the way the Russian government had carried out his project. He described cases of people entitled to poorly drafted reprieves, such as the fathers of many children, men with chronic illnesses, or those past military age.

Russian reports did not specify which former Soviet state the shooters came from; the Russian military allows some foreigners to serve under contract, which may give them a path to citizenship.

In Russia, Mr Putin’s plan has met growing resistance after appearing to hit minority groups and rural areas harder than big cities.

Interviews last month with residents of three regions of Russia’s predominantly Muslim Caucasus Mountains suggested widespread fear of mobilization. In Chechnya, a small business owner described seeing few men on the streets of Grozny, the capital, and said a mosque that was usually overflowing on Fridays was a third empty.

In Kabardino-Balkaria, a local activist reported that a village of 2,500 people had seen 38 people conscripted and there were reports of young men injuring themselves to avoid conscription. But few protested, he said, because civic life had been all but liquidated.

And in Ingushetia, a Russian army officer said he was trying to avoid going to Ukraine.

“People are close to panic,” he said. “Police stop cars and hand out notices.”

All spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Ivan Nechepurenko and Anton Troyanovsky contributed report.


October 15, 2022

A headline in an earlier version of this article misrepresented the number of soldiers killed in a shooting at a training camp in Belgorod. He was 11, not 15.