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Jorge Mateo’s leadoff double in 9th spoils Rays pitcher Drew Rasmussen’s bid for perfect game in Orioles’ 4-1 loss

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Jorge Mateo’s Leadoff Double In 9Th Spoils Rays Pitcher Drew Rasmussen’s Bid For Perfect Game In Orioles’ 4-1 Loss
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The anticipation of the moment grew around Tropicana Field. As Drew Rasmussen trotted to the mound for the ninth inning, Tampa Bay Rays fans rose to their feet, cell phones in hand, waiting to document history.

But Orioles shortstop Jorge Mateo had other ideas. On the first pitch he saw from Rasmussen — a cutter left over the plate — Mateo turned his hips and ripped the ball down the left field line for a double. When he reached second base, the Orioles dugout applauded Mateo’s efforts, breaking up a perfect game with just three outs remaining.

The groans from the crowd led to an ovation. It ended after 24 batters — 24 batters who came and went without much of a threat — and Rasmussen still set up the Rays for a 4-1 victory. But there was also a so-close, so-far aspect, as it became the second time Tampa Bay has taken a perfect game bid into the ninth inning before it was broken up. The last time, July 14, 2019, was a combined effort. And that one, too, was foiled by the Orioles, who have never been involved in a perfect game.

“It was definitely a relief,” Mateo said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “No team wants to have that on them and be the team that got a perfect game against them. It was definitely nice to get that hit in the last inning. We’ve been playing well; hopefully we can keep it going soon.”

Former Seattle Mariners ace Félix Hernández is the most recent pitcher to reach perfection. The 10-year anniversary of the 21st perfect game in MLB history is Monday.

Soon after Mateo’s double, Rasmussen’s shutout evaporated, with Mateo scoring on a wild pitch. Rays manager Kevin Cash walked to the mound to replace a pitcher that had flirted with perfection and — as so frequently is the case — came up just shy. Rasmussen was still showered by cheers upon his departure.

Rasmussen finished his day with one run against him through 8 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and no walks while striking out seven batters on 87 pitches.

“A lot of early count, weak outs,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “That helped him out. But he threw a heck of a game.”

In his last outing, Rasmussen was held to just three innings, part of a workload management system for a 27-year-old pitcher who has already undergone two Tommy John surgeries in his career.

During Rasmussen’s on-field postgame interview, he remarked how his command was so shaky before his start that one of his long toss attempts sailed over his target, over the net and hit a fan in the stands. That fan went home with a Rays jersey, and Rasmussen rebounded for the best start of his career.

Rasmussen’s incredible efficiency allowed him to work this deep into the game. Before Sunday, his longest outing all year was seven innings. He threw as many as 97 pitches once, but that has not been a frequent pitch count for him.

The Orioles managed just two batted balls that left their bats at over 100 mph, and 12 of their first 18 outs came on at-bats of three pitches or fewer. The longest at-bat against Rasmussen came in the eighth inning when second baseman Rougned Odor worked an eight-pitch strikeout.

The implications Sunday — beyond the historical — also involved the postseason race. With the loss, the Orioles fell 1 1/2 games behind the Rays, further from that final American League wild-card spot. And Baltimore also lost the season series against Tampa Bay, which has implications of its own — should the teams tie in the standings, the tiebreaker goes to the Rays.

The Rays nearly completed history through Rasmussen. Instead, they’ll have to settle for a series win and a leg up in the wild-card hunt. The losses Saturday and Sunday dropped Baltimore from sole possession of the final wild-card spot to the outside looking in. And the Orioles have now dropped the season series against the Rays, Mariners and Minnesota Twins, putting them in a difficult spot should they require a tiebreaker.

“We’ve got to turn the page on this one, and we’re gonna face a really good Toronto team tomorrow,” Hyde said. “It was a disappointing way to end this series, but we’ve got to move on now.”

One big swing

Jose Siri didn’t move his feet. The Rays outfielder, standing near third base, only raised his arms as he turned his head to watch the blast off Randy Arozarena’s bat leave the yard in a hurry.

Right-hander Jordan Lyles, on the other hand, didn’t waste his time to see where Arozarena’s ball landed some 400 feet away. He shook his head, paced around the mound and quickly asked for a new ball to continue one of his best outings this year — besides that one swing from Arozarena, a batter who had gone deep already this series against the Orioles and once more against Lyles earlier this year.

Lyles had planned to load up with the sinker against Arozarena. He offered five fastballs — three four-seamers and two sinkers — in a first-inning strikeout of Arozarena, and the first sinker he threw to the slugger in the third was also solid. The second, though, was less crisp.

“I wanted to attack in with the fastball, and allow that to open up for the slider away,” Lyles said. “Until proven that they’re going to make an adjustment, there’s no reason to out-think yourself and go another direction. Just, the sinker did not sink. It didn’t run in. It stayed in the inner half, and a good hitter put a good swing on it.”

Barring that long ball, which came off a low, inside sinker that Arozarena dug out, Lyles notched a season-high nine strikeouts. He forced 14 whiffs, according to Statcast. And Lyles almost got out of that third inning unscathed, after a single and double left two runners in scoring position with no outs.

Lyles worked a strikeout and popout, but instead of walking Arozarena with a base empty, he went after him. It didn’t work, and as his pitch count rose to 87 in the fifth inning, Hyde replaced Lyles after 4 1/3 frames. And after inheriting two runners, right-hander Joey Krehbiel allowed one to score.

But to compete with Rasmussen, those Orioles arms would’ve had to be nearly perfect, just as the Rays starter was.

“Tomorrow I will,” Lyles said with a smirk when asked whether he could appreciate the pitching effort from Rasmussen. “Outings like that are special. You need some luck on your side. You need to have your better stuff. Luckily, Mateo came through in the ninth, and we avoided that situation.”

Around the horn

>> First baseman Ryan Mountcastle isn’t expected to need a stint on the injured list after he was hit on the side of his left hand, although he’s considered day-to-day with the injury. Mountcastle tested his swing and throwing prior to Sunday’s game but wasn’t able to play. Without him, Tyler Nevin played first base, and utilityman Terrin Vavra practiced grounders there pregame.

>> During an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias acknowledged shortstop Gunnar Henderson is “on the radar screen” over the final month and a half of the season. Henderson, the No. 1 prospect in the game according to Baseball America, went 3-for-6 with a double and a homer and three RBIs on Sunday to improve his batting average to .293 and his OPS to .925.

[email protected] JAYS

Monday, 7:07 p.m.

TV: MASN

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley ruled out of Sunday’s game vs. Patriots

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Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, delaying his season debut at least another week.

Stanley (ankle) was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report after practicing Wednesday and Thursday as a limited participant. He sat out Friday’s practice with what coach John Harbaugh called a recovery day.

Stanley has yet to fully participate in a practice this season. He played in just one game last season before undergoing his second straight season-ending ankle injury.

Harbaugh said Friday that Stanley is “getting to the point where it’s kind of week-to-week, day-to-day-ish. Again, it comes back to him feeling like he’s going to be playing at his best. That’s really what it boils down to. Very sound. Very strong. He’s in great shape, maybe the best shape that I’ve seen him in some ways since he’s been here. … He’s doing really well that way. So when he feels like he’s ready to go out there and be Ronnie Stanley at his best, then he’ll be out there.”

With Stanley and Week 1 starter Ja’Wuan James (torn Achilles tendon) both unavailable, Patrick Mekari is again expected to start at left tackle.

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5 storylines to watch as Knicks open training camp

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Give Leon Rose credit for this aspect of his roster construction: if the Knicks play well and exceed expectations, they’re in good position to add difference-makers. Real difference-makers. All those first-round draft picks – 11 over the next seven years – are awaiting a trade partner more eager to accept them than Danny Ainge.

The Knicks love to remind us of all their picks.

“We are flush with draft capital,” Rose boasted to the team’s in-house cable station, MSG Network, which is owned by James Dolan.

Of course, Rose was in a similar situation a year ago and bungled free agency. The deals given to Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks and Julius Randle turned into negative assets, leaving Rose to quickly accept those as failures by unloading most of them with attached draft picks.

Now Rose enters Year 3 of his regime without the same hopes of contention from last season, but with a few other reasons for optimism: his team has real depth, his team has a new point guard, his team has plenty of assets to pivot from any situation and his team doesn’t have to live up to high expectations.

The bar is low enough to easily clear.

“It goes back to our overall goal – our goal is to improve,” Rose said. “And there’s different ways to improve.”

Which brings us to the start of training camp Tuesday and the five most important questions. These won’t be answered conclusively by the end of camp in mid-October, but they will define the upcoming season and determine how the Knicks proceed beyond this gap year.

WHO IS THE REAL JULIUS RANDLE?

It’s reasonable to assume that the real Randle is neither as bad as last season nor as good as two seasons ago. There’s a middle ground. And while it’s difficult to predict shooting efficiency, there are some issues inside Randle’s control that can go a long way toward determining his impact on an improved team. As we witnessed last season, Randle is passionate, proud and highly sensitive. He doesn’t respond well to negativity, demotion or disappointment, which became a bear of an issue with fans at MSG.

“Julius is a passionate player. I see that as a positive,” Rose said. “Did he have some rough patches last year? Yes. We all learn from things. And Julius has learned from that and he’s ready to go.

“I think Julius is going to have a great year.”

Accepting a lesser role next to Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett is imperative to the Knicks’ growth. Not that he can’t be their best player on any given night, just that he shouldn’t expect to dominate the ball with the same frequency. Word is that Randle worked himself this summer into elite condition and we’ll get a good look at those conditioning gains in training camp. It’s an important part of Randle’s game that fell off a tad last season.

WHO WILL START AT SHOOTING GUARD?

Evan Fournier is the incumbent starter and he set the franchise record for 3-pointers made in a season. Still, the lineup would benefit from a better perimeter defender next to Brunson, which is why Quentin Grimes, the second-year two-way threat, could supplant Fournier. It was telling that Fournier averaged only six minutes in fourth quarters last season.

Thibodeau had more trust in Grimes, Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks and Derrick Rose during crunch time.

HOW MUCH WILL BRUNSON BOOST THE PICK-AND-ROLL?

Death, taxes and the Knicks need a point guard. One of these will lose its inevitability if Brunson lives up to his nine-figure deal. He brings proficiency as the ballhandler in pick-and-rolls, which is significant after last season’s disappointments.

With Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Immanuel Quickley as the point guards, the Knicks tried hard to be a pick-and-roll team (they were seventh in league in attempts) but too often failed. They ranked 29th in field-goal percentage at a putrid 37.7% off pick-and-rolls. It was a huge hole in their offense. Brunson can fill it. The other question is whether tampering to sign Brunson will cost the Knicks a draft pick.

Rose denied any wrongdoing but the league has yet to conclude its investigation. Players are not interviewed in these investigations, according to a source, but the league confiscated the cell phone of at least one Knicks employee.

“Hopefully they’ll be wrapped up in the next few weeks,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

DOES RJ BARRETT CONTINUE HIS ASCENSION?

By cobbling together cumulative statistics by Barrett’s age, Leon Rose made a wonky comparison to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic and Kevin Durant. Let’s take it easy, team president. Rose dangled Barrett in trade negotiations for Donovan Mitchell and waited till September to give him a contract extension that was well short of the max. Now Rose is putting him in categories with LeBron James? Where was that sentiment during contract negotiations?

Barrett deserved better than how the Knicks handled his summer. The announcement of his extension was sloppy – it was transparently tweeted out right after Mitchell was traded to the Cavs – and they couldn’t even muster a press conference for his huge signing because of James Dolan’s media policies.

But Barrett has overcome much more in his three NBA seasons. He was labeled a bust after a disappointing first campaign and left off both All-Rookie teams. Then he improved and improved more. There will be a bigger microscope this season because another leap is expected playing next to Brunson, who should help create better looks for Barrett. It’s not unrealistic to aspire for a push to the All-Star game.

HOW SAFE IS TOM THIBODEAU?

Leon Rose and his top deputy William Wesley are former agents with no experience running an NBA franchise. When their first team belied expectations and went to the playoffs, it was on the backs of a team largely constructed by the previous regime. Rose made two impactful moves that first year – hiring Tom Thibodeau and trading for Derrick Rose (which was pushed by Thibodeau).

Yet, it was the coach under fire during much of last season’s struggles. Part of it was a perception that he was holding back the development of younger players, especially Obi Toppin. Part of it was the construction of a coaching staff with two prominent assistants – Kenny Payne and Johnnie Bryant – having been thrust on Thibodeau’s bench by the front office.

And the other aspect is just the natural order of survival in the NBA. The coach typically goes before the front office. Rose steadfastly backed his coach recently on the Knicks TV station. It was the right move before the season begins. But what if things go sour for a second straight year?

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Fall Into Winter Festival welcomes the return of the ski season at Afton Alps

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The Fall Into Winter Festival is returning to Afton Alps Ski Resort in Hastings this fall, complete with a ski swap, music, food trucks and more.

Highlighting the event is the Ski Swap, where skiers and boarders can buy or sell used items, and also pick up new goodies from leading retail ski and snowboard shops and dealerships. Team Afton Ski Team is running the swap.

The festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.

Sellers are able to register their items online and drop off their gear prior to the event. When an item sells, the seller will receive 77 percent of the price, while 23 percent goes to Team Afton.

In past years, participating dealers have carried gear from Columbia, Patagonia, Spyder, the North Face and Oakley, and many others at the swap. This inventory will vary depending on how many used items are listed, according to their website.

Skis and gear line the walls of the Afton Alps Chalet during the ski swap at the Fall Into Winter Festival in October 2019. This year’s 2022 ski swap is the first since the beginning of the pandemic. (Courtesy of Pamela Hoye)

The festival is also an opportunity for guests to pick up their season ski pass, sample a variety of beers in the beer garden, enjoy valley views on a chairlift ride and listen to live music. Zaap Thai and D’s Kitchen will be serving up food from their trucks.

Those interested in working at Afton Alps this winter can check out the job fair at the festival to learn more about available full-time and part-time positions. Benefits include a free Epic pass.

Afton Alps is surrounded by Afton State Park, a 25-minute drive from St. Paul. The resort is owned by Vail Resorts and is the largest in the Midwest Vail portfolio.

Find more information at aftonalps.com.

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Search continues for missing man Jonathan Anderl

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Search continues for missing man Jonathan Anderl – CBS Minnesota

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A Crystal man who lives with autism is missing after leaving the MacPhail Center for Music Thursday night in downtown Minneapolis.

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Oscar-winning ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ star Louise Fletcher dies at 88

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Louise Fletcher, a belated star whose gripping performance as the cruel, calculating nurse Ratched in “Flight Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” set a new standard for on-screen villains and won her an Oscar, died at 88.

Fletcher died in her sleep surrounded by her family at her home in Montdurausse, France, her agent David Shaul told The Associated Press on Friday. No cause was given.

After putting her career on hold for years to raise her children, Fletcher was in her early 40s and little known when she was cast opposite Jack Nicholson in the 1975 film by director Milos Forman, who had admired her work the previous year in director Robert Altman’s “Thieves Like Us.” At the time, she was unaware that many other top stars, including Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn and Angela Lansbury, had turned it down.

“I was the last person cast,” she recalled in a 2004 interview. “It wasn’t until halfway through filming that I realized the role had been offered to other actresses who didn’t want to appear so horrible on screen.”

‘Flight Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ became the first film since 1934’s ‘It Happened One Night’ to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay .

American actress Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, directed by Milos Forman, 1975. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Clutching his Oscar at the 1976 ceremony, Fletcher told the audience, “Looks like you all hate me.”

She then addressed her deaf parents in Birmingham, Alabama, speaking and using sign language: “I want to thank you for teaching me to dream. You see my dream come true.

A minute of silence was followed by thunderous applause.

Later that night, Forman made the wry comment to Fletcher and his co-star, Jack Nicholson, “Now we’re all going to have huge flops.”

In the short term, at least, he was right.

Forman then directed “Hair,” the film version of the hit Broadway musical that failed to capture the appeal of the stage version. Nicholson directed and starred in “Goin’ South,” widely regarded as one of his worst films. Fletcher signed on for “Exorcist II: The Heretic,” an ill-conceived sequel to the historic original.

Far more than her male peers, Fletcher was hampered by her age from finding major roles in Hollywood. Yet she worked continuously for most of the rest of her life. His post-“Cuckoo’s Nest” movies included “Mama Dracula,” “Dead Kids,” and “The Boy Who Could Fly.”

She was nominated for Emmys for her guest roles on the television series “Joan of Arcadia” and “Picket Fences,” and had a recurring role as Bajoran religious leader Kai Winn Adami on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. “. She played the mother of musical duo Carpenters in “The Karen Carpenter Story” in 1989.

Oscar-Winning 'Cuckoo's Nest' Star Louise Fletcher Dies At 88

THE 48TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS – Show cover – Air date: March 29, 1976. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Fletcher’s career was also hampered by his height. At 5ft 10in, she was often fired from an audition immediately because she was taller than her leading man.

Fletcher had moved to Los Angeles to launch her acting career shortly after graduating from North Carolina State University.

Working as a doctor’s receptionist by day and studying by night with famed actor and teacher Jeff Corey, she began getting day jobs on such TV shows as “Wagon Train,” “77 Sunset Strip,” and ” The Untouchables”.

Fletcher married producer Jerry Bick in the early 1960s and gave birth to two sons in quick succession. She decided to put her career on hold to become a stay-at-home mom and did not work for 11 years.

“I made the choice to quit working, but I didn’t see it as a choice,” she said during the 2004 interview. home.”

She divorced Bick in 1977 and he died in 2004.

In “Cuckoo’s Nest,” based on the novel Ken Kesey wrote while on an experimental LSD program, Nicholson’s character, RP McMurphy, is a swaggering petty criminal who feigns insanity to be transferred from prison. to a mental institution where he won’t have to work so hard.

Once institutionalized, McMurphy finds that his psychiatric ward is run by Fletcher’s towering and cold nurse, Mildred Ratched, who keeps her patients under her control. As the two face off, McMurphy virtually takes over the room with her bravado, resulting in severe punishment from Ratched and the institution, where she restores order.

The character was so memorable that she would become the basis for a Netflix series, “Ratched,” 45 years later.

Estelle Louise Fletcher was born the second of four children on July 22, 1934 in Birmingham. His mother was born deaf and his father was a traveling Episcopal minister who lost his hearing when he was struck by lightning when he was 4 years old.

“It was like having immigrant parents who don’t speak your language,” she said in 1982.

The Fletcher children were helped by their aunt, with whom they lived in Bryant, Texas, for a year. She taught them to read, write and speak, as well as to sing and dance.

It was these latest studies that convinced Fletcher she wanted to act. She was even more inspired, she once said, when she saw the movie “Lady in the Dark” starring Ginger Rogers.

This film and others, Fletcher said, taught him “your dream could come true if you wanted it enough”.

“I knew from the movies,” she said, “that I wouldn’t have to stay in Birmingham and be like everyone else.”

Fletcher’s death was first reported by Deadline.

She is survived by her two sons, John and Andrew Bick.

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The late AP Entertainment Writer Bob Thomas provided biographical material for this report.

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Russia bombs Ukrainian towns amid Kremlin-organized votes – The Denver Post

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By KARL RITTER and HANNA ARHIROVA

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces launched new strikes on Ukrainian cities on Saturday as Kremlin-orchestrated votes were held in occupied areas to create a pretext for their annexation by Moscow, while hundreds of people were arrested in Russia for trying to protest a mobilization order that commits more troops to the fight in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s presidential office said the latest Russian bombardment killed at least three people and injured 19. Oleksandr Starukh, the Ukrainian governor of Zaporizhzhia, one of the regions where Moscow-based officials have held referendums on the accession to Russia, said a Russian missile hit a building in the city of Zaporizhzhia, killing one person and injuring seven others.

Ukraine and its Western allies claim that the ongoing referendums in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south and in the eastern regions of Lugansk and Donetsk have no legal value. They alleged the votes were an illegitimate attempt by Moscow to seize Ukrainian territory stretching from the Russian border to the Crimean Peninsula.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the vote “was more like an opinion poll under the guns”, adding that Moscow-backed local authorities had sent armed escorts to accompany election officials and take down the names of the candidates. people who had voted against joining Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Ukrainians in occupied regions to undermine the referendums and share information about who is carrying out “this farce”. He also called on Russian recruits to sabotage and desert the army if called up as part of the partial troop mobilization announced by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

“If you enter the Russian army, sabotage any enemy activity, obstruct any Russian operation, provide us with any important information about the occupiers – their bases, their headquarters, their ammunition warehouses,” Zelenskyy said.

Putin on Saturday signed a hastily approved bill that toughens the penalty for soldiers who disobey officers’ orders, desert or surrender to the enemy.

To carry out the referendums which began on Friday, election officials accompanied by police carried ballots to homes and set up mobile polling stations, citing security concerns. Voting is due to end on Tuesday. Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said

“Half the population fled from the Donetsk region because of Russian terror and constant shelling, voting against Russia with their feet, and the second half were deceived and scared”, .

In the Ukrainian capital, around 100 people from the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol, which is part of the Donetsk region, gathered to protest against the referendum, covering themselves with Ukrainian flags and carrying posters reading “Mariupol, c is Ukraine”.

“They destroyed the city, killed thousands of people, and now they are doing some kind of desecration there,” said Vladyslav Kildishov, who helped organize the rally.

Elina Sytkova, 21, a protester who still has many relatives in Mariupol even though the city has spent months under bombardment, said the vote was ‘an illusion of choice when there is none’ .

It’s ‘like a joke, because it’s the same as in Crimea, that is, it’s fake and not real,’ she said, referring to a referendum of 2014 that took place in Crimea before Moscow annexed the peninsula in a move that most of the world considered illegal.

The mobilization ordered by Putin marked a dramatic departure from his efforts to portray the seven-month war as a “special military operation” that does not interfere with the lives of most Russians.

Russian police moved quickly to break up anti-mobilization protests held in several cities across Russia on Saturday, arresting around 500 people. More than 1,300 protesters were arrested in a previous wave of demonstrations on Wednesday, and many of them immediately received summonses.

Russian leader and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the order applied to reservists who had recently served or had special skills, but almost all men are considered reservists until age 65 and the Putin’s decree left the door open for a broader appeal.

The Russian ministry said the partial mobilization was initially aimed at adding around 300,000 troops to bolster its outnumbered volunteer forces in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government stopped allowing most men between the ages of 18 and 60 to leave the country immediately after the February 24 Russian invasion under a general mobilization order to build up an army of one million. ‘men.

Across Russia’s 11 time zones, men hugged weeping family members before being gathered for service, fearing a wider call would follow. Some media claimed that the Russian authorities planned to mobilize more than a million recruits, which the Kremlin denied.

To allay public fears the appeal could erode Putin’s grip on power, authorities announced that many Russians working in high tech, communications or finance would be exempt.

After some of the pilots of Russian airline Aeroflot and other airlines reportedly received appeal notices, the pilots and traffic controllers unions moved quickly to secure the government’s promise that they too would be excluded of mobilization.

Many Russian men bought scarce and exorbitantly priced plane tickets out of the country amid rumors of an impending border closure. Thousands more fled by car, creating lines of traffic for hours or even days at some borders. The mass exodus underscored the unpopularity of the war and fueled public outrage.

In a sign that the Kremlin was beginning to worry about a backlash, the head of a major state-controlled television station harshly criticized military authorities for hastily sweeping up random people to achieve targets mobilization instead of calling in people with specific skills and recent military service, as Putin had promised.

RT chief Margarita Simonyan slammed military conscription offices for “driving people crazy” by rounding up those who weren’t supposed to be conscripted. “It’s as if they were instructed by Kyiv to do this,” she said.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed Chechnya regional leader who has sent his forces to fight in Ukraine and has repeatedly called for tougher action, has suggested that Moscow should engage law enforcement personnel more extensively in the fights.

He denounced those fleeing the mobilization as cowards and argued that the police and various paramilitary agencies which altogether number 5 million along with the military would be a far better trained and motivated fighting force.

“If we let 50% of the personnel do their jobs, another 2.5 million will blow up any Western army and we won’t need reservists,” Kadyrov said.

Putin’s mobilization order followed a swift Ukrainian counteroffensive that forced Moscow to withdraw from large swathes of the northeast Kharkiv region, a humiliating defeat that exposed flaws in military planning from Moscow.

The Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday the dismissal of General Dmitry Bulgakov from the post of Deputy Minister of Defense in charge of logistics. He did not mention the cause of his ousting, but the move was widely seen as punishment for failures to support operations in Ukraine.

___

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