Twelve military enlistment offices across Russia have been set on fire, with reports suggesting Russians are being duped into carrying out the acts of arson by unknown persons.
The first incident was reported in St. Petersburg on the evening of July 31, where a 53-year-old man hurled Molotov cocktails at the entrance of the military commissariat department on Tchaikovsky Street. He claimed that he had fallen victim to a devious scam orchestrated by fraudsters.
He claimed he was lured into taking out multiple loans and then coerced by a person pretending to be an “FSB officer” who promised to help clear his debts in exchange for setting fire to the military enlistment office.
The “FSB motive” behind this request was “to distract the military personnel and enable an investigation into fraudulent activities among the office staff.”
Similar odd stories emerged from other regions of Russia. In Rossosh, a 24-year-old teacher was detained after throwing a Molotov cocktail at the military enlistment office, sharing a similar account of being manipulated into committing the act.
In Mozhaysk, a 45-year-old woman was tricked by scammers posing as bank employees. They convinced her that criminals were hiding within the military enlistment office and asked her to pour flammable liquid on its windows to flush them out.
In the village of Aginskoye, a 17-year-old girl attempted to set fire to the military enlistment office after receiving a call from scammers who falsely claimed that there was a traitor within the office transmitting information to Ukrainian intelligence about local residents participating in the war in Ukraine.
In Sestroretsk, a woman came into the military enlistment office with packages and warned that she would set fire to the building. According to eyewitnesses, she was nervous and was holding a phone in her hands.
A dozen reports of arson or attempted arson emerged from various small cities and villages across Russia.
Authorities are now investigating the potential involvement of organized groups or a network of scammers manipulating individuals into carrying out these acts.
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