Ex-Everton star Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has been called up to fight on the Ukrainian frontline, his father revealed.
It comes as staff from Russia’s national team have refused to return home after a match in Kyrgyzstan as Putin scrambles 300,000 extra troops to bolster his war efforts, The Sun reports.
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Bilyaletdinov’s dad, Rinat, confirmed his 37-year-old son was one of the young men called up to fight in the tyrant’s shambolic seven-month war, sports.ru reports.
He said the former Russian international – who helped them to a third-place finish at Euro 2008 – received a summons from the military registration and enlistment office.
Rinat claimed there was some “inconsistency” with the call-up notice due to Bilyaletdinov’s age, and revealed his son last served in the military when he was just 18.
“Diniyar really received a summons,” he said.
“It is difficult to talk about emotions, because he did not serve, although he did military service, but it was specific, with a sports bias. It was 19 years ago.
“That is, yes, he took the oath, but served in the sports line. The law still says – to call people up to 35 years old, and he is 37, so there is some kind of inconsistency here.
“Now he will find out whether this agenda is correct or whether it was sent early. Anything can happen.”
He added: “If there was a general mobilisation, then there is no need to ask questions. In the meantime, the president has established a partial one, everything should be according to the law.”
Bilyaletdinov, who earned 46 caps for Russia, played for Lokomotiv, Spartak and Torpedo Moscow during his playing days.
His big move came when Everton boss David Moyes forked out £9m for him in 2009.
He played 58 times in the Premier League for the Toffees and scored eight goals – including one against Manchester United.
He ended his playing days with spells at Rubin Kazan in his homeland before a brief stint in Lithuania at Trakai.
Bilyaletdinov is now back in his native country as part of the coaching staff at second division Rodina-2 in Moscow.
He married former cheerleader Maria in June 2011 and the couple welcomed their first son, Timur, into the world the following year.
As Putin’s war continues to falter with Moscow losing ground on the battlefield, the desperate despot has called up more conscripts to bolster efforts in Ukraine.
But many Russian men have been desperately looking for ways to avoid Putin’s draft to stop themselves from being sent to die in Ukraine.
Five admin staff from the Russian Football Union have reportedly refused to return home from a match over the weekend over fears of being called up to fight in the war.
The Russian national team beat the Kyrgyz squad in the friendly – and are now staying put.
Russian media reported that the staff members had received call-up notices from the military enlistment office.
The panic comes amid reports the Kremlin might soon shut Russian borders to stop men of fighting age leaving.
Men have reportedly been hastily getting married or registering themselves as carers for elderly children in a bid to get out of the war – with some reported to have broken their own arms and legs to escape the draft.
There have been huge tailbacks at the borders and a rush to buy flights out of Russia as men try to flee the Kremlin’s grip.
Shocking footage even showed one man setting himself on fire at a railway station in Ryazan, 110 miles southeast of Moscow, to avoid being sent to the frontline.
This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.