Stanislav Pozdnyakov was asked about the partial mobilization announced by President Putin on Wednesday
Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said the athletes had a “honorable duty” to defend their homeland when called upon, just like other citizens.
Pozdnyakov was asked on Thursday how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization a day earlier might affect the country’s athletes and sports teams.
“The ROC trains the Olympic team, the current members of the national teams are under the purview of the Center de Formation Sportive and the Ministry of Sports, so the issue should be addressed there instead,” he added. Pozdnyakov responded, according to TASS.
“But from the perspective of the ROC, we as citizens of the country consider service to the country to be an honorable duty and the honorable duty of every citizen, including members of national teams.”
The Russian network of sports teams CSKA (Central Sports Club of the Army) is traditionally linked to the armed forces and includes, among others, football and ice hockey giants named after it.
RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday that association with the army would not mean that CSKA athletes are mobilized in advance.
“CSKA athletes have long been informed that they will be called up in the last waves [of mobilization]. Not so long ago, this information was confirmed again,” RIA reported, citing a source.
Shortly after President Putin announced a partial mobilization, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu clarified that 300,000 reservists would be called up and this would not apply to university students or conscripts.
“These are not people who have never heard of the army. These are people who, on the one hand, have done their military service, and on the other hand, who have a military specialty… and who have military experience“, Shoigu noted.
President Putin called the decision reasonable and necessary due to the military campaign in Ukraine. He promised that anyone called in would receive additional training and benefits.