Warrants for the dead & bias toward ethnic minority regions…Russian mobilization decree “too harsh a reality”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Warrants for the dead & bias toward ethnic minority regions…Russian mobilization decree “too harsh a reality”.

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Endless lines of cars of Russian people trying to flee the country (Image: AP/Afro)

An endless line of cars.

The cars of Russian citizens seeking to flee the country are said to stretch nearly 20 kilometers along the border with Georgia and Finland. They are trying to evade conscription under the “Partial Mobilization of Reservists” (mobilization order) issued by the authorities to replenish troops in Ukraine. According to the U.S. magazine Forbes, at least 700,000 people have fled the country.

The checkpoints by the Russian police are getting tighter by the day in order to crack down on any draft evaders. It is very difficult to escape by land. In some cases, you have to hand over a large amount of money to get through the checkpoints.

The most popular are airline tickets to Turkey and Armenia, which allow visa-free travel from Russia. However, there is a flood of requests to purchase tickets, and prices are skyrocketing. The price jumps to several dozen times the average monthly income of Russians, and only the very wealthy can afford it. Some of them have crossed the Bering Strait on small boats and fled to Alaska,” said a reporter from the international section of a national newspaper.

They will be imprisoned, so they have no choice but to go.”

The mobilization order issued on September 21 will call for about 300,000 people, about 1% of the 25 million reservists with military service experience. However, the independent Russian media outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe reported that one million people will actually be called up to help break the hard-fought war in Ukraine. The reality that not only reservists but also Russian men are being sent to military service without any regard has been revealed.

A 32-year-old IT technician posted a heartbreaking story on the Russian social networking site Telegram. He had no military service experience or military knowledge at all. Moreover, he complained that when he received a warrant and went to a military-related facility, he was ordered to ‘participate in training’ that very day. The man said that he had no choice but to go because he would be imprisoned if he refused.

Other examples of sloppy conscription practices have been uncovered one after another. In the western city of St. Petersburg, a warrant was issued for a man who died nine years ago. Warrants have also been issued for a student whom President Vladimir Putin announced he would defer, a man over the age of 55, and a patient with a serious illness. Itsuro Nakamura, a professor emeritus at Tsukuba University and an expert on the situation in Russia, said, “The warrants were issued as an example of defiance against the government.

There have been many cases of people who are defiant against the government being summoned as an example. It would seem that sending people who are critical of the conflict in Ukraine to the front lines will not boost the morale of the military. But the shortage of soldiers in the Russian army is so severe that they have to be recruited. Moreover, all they are provided with are obsolete weapons that are useless. There is absolutely no coordination.

An examination of the 53 municipalities that have implemented the mobilization order by CIT, an independent Russian research organization, also reveals a regional bias. If the Russian authorities are correct, 1% of reservists are called up. However, in Moscow, the capital of Russia, the percentage was as low as 0.8%, while in the relatively poor Krasnoyarsk region of Eastern Siberia, the percentage was 5.5%, and in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula near Ukraine, the percentage was as high as 4%.

The probability is also high in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, such as Mongolians. The reason behind this is probably the discriminatory idea of sending ethnic minorities to dangerous war zones first, and the fear of protest movements. If the protests become stronger in urban areas, many citizens could join in and shake Putin’s regime. I think that is why they are focusing their mobilization on the poorest areas of the countryside.

But the more hard-line President Putin becomes, the more people will flee the country, and the greater the public discontent will be.

  • Photo AP/Afro

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