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Russia deploys facial recognition tech to track down draft-dodgers

Rounding up dissenters using surveillance.

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Russia is using facial recognition systems to track down young eligible men trying to evade the compulsory military draft. It has been over one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russia is still mobilizing more troops.

“To determine the place of residence of the conscript, video surveillance systems in the city of Moscow are being used,” said Moscow’s chief enlistment officer Maxim Loktev, according to state-run news outlet TASS.

In 2017, Moscow’s IT Department announced that over 3,000 CCTV cameras in the city had been equipped with facial recognition technology.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin signed a law with stricter restrictions on those avoiding being drafted in the military. The law now allows for call-up papers to be sent electronically, they do not have to be delivered in person by an enlistment officer.

Every spring and fall, thousands of men between the ages of 18 and 27 try to avoid recruitment into the military. The use of facial recognition will make it harder for them to dodge recruitment and they will have to do the compulsory one year of military service.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has mobilized at least 300,000 reservists to fight.

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