The son of a top Kremlin aide was duped by a Russian rabble-rouser into revealing that he would “obviously not” serve if drafted into Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Nikolay Peskov, the 32-year-old son of longtime Kremlin flack and Putin confidant Dmitry Peskov, refused the call of duty when he was prank-called by the hosts of Russian YouTube channel Popular Politics, according to Russian independent news site Insider.
Dmitry Nizovtsev, pretending to be a Russian recruitment officer, told Peskov he’d been drafted and needed to show up at a medical examination the next day.
“Obviously not,” the younger Peskov exclaimed.
“You must understand, if you know that I am Mr. Peskov, how wrong it is for me to be there,” he continued. “In short, I will deal with it on another level.”
The Peskov princeling’s outrage comes a day after Putin ordered 300,000 more troops called up for the grisly fighting in Ukraine — an expansion of the Russian strongman’s so-called “special military operation” in response to massive battlefield losses in the past month.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has been largely fought by soldiers from the country’s rural areas and satellite states. This week’s mobilization threatens to draw reinforcements from Russia’s more politically connected classes.
The country was rocked by protests Wednesday after the order came down. Thousands took to the streets in defiance of Russia’s anti-protest laws — and more took to the airports in an effort to leave the country before they could be called up to fight.
Peskov’s father, Putin’s longtime spokesman, told the Russian outlet Podyom that his son would make “only the right choice” if called to serve.
He accused Nizovtsev of selectively editing the call, and demanded he “lay out the entire conversation.”
Later in the recording, the younger Peskov did indeed tell the prank caller he wouldn’t be insubordinate.
“I’ll do what I’m told. If Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] says I need to go there, I will go.”
But, he added, “I’m not rank and file.”