Warrants for the dead, human shields as “meat” at the front… The horrors of the Russian draft: “70,000 disguised as HIV infected” and astonishing evasion of mobilization. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Warrants for the dead, human shields as “meat” at the front… The horrors of the Russian draft: “70,000 disguised as HIV infected” and astonishing evasion of mobilization.

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Advertisements for recruiting soldiers seen all over Russia (PHOTO: Reuters/Afro)

Issuing employment certificates to IT companies that are exempt from the draft and faking infection with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). ……

In Russia, the business of evading military service is rampant online.

The fall draft began across Russia on October 1. This time, for the first time, four eastern Ukrainian provinces, which Russia has declared annexed, are also included. With the Ukrainian front in mind, the defense budget for the next fiscal year will increase 1.7 times that of the current fiscal year, to approximately 16 trillion yen, or 30% of total expenditures.

The fighting with Ukraine is taking more and more damage by the day, and there is an overwhelming shortage of troops. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, it’s estimated that nearly 280,000 Russian troops have died. Last September, a mobilization order was issued for about 300,000 people, about 1% of the 25 million reservists with military service experience.

However, according to the independent Russian media outlet Novaya Gazeta Europe, 1 million people have actually been called up, and not only reservists but also Russian men are being sent to military service without any regard.

Rusty old guns are provided

The Russian social networking site Telegram has posted a number of reports on the reality of the draft. An engineer in his 50s, who has exceeded the draft limit and has no military experience or knowledge, was sent to a military-related facility the same day he received his warrant. In the western city of St. Petersburg, a warrant was received for a man who died nearly 10 years ago.

The reality of soldiers sent to the front lines is also terrible, he said. Mobilized soldiers with poor combat skills are called ‘meat’ and placed on the front lines. They are used as ‘human shields. They are provided with rusty old guns from the 1970s, and their bulletproof vests are full of holes and tattered.

There is no satisfactory barracks, and it is said that many soldiers lie on the ground in the cold steppe and cannot get a good night’s sleep. Russian recruits are equipped with little more than rifles and knives, and must face Ukrainian troops armed with the latest weapons supplied by the West.

With such devastation, it is understandable why Russian men would like to avoid being drafted. The business of avoiding military service, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, has been in vogue since immediately after the outbreak of war with Ukraine.

According to the Russian media “Izvestia,” paying about 3 million yen to a group that undertakes military service evasion promises employment in an IT company in Moscow’s newest area, which is exempt from military service, and about 70,000 yen is needed to issue fake infection certificates for HIV, hepatitis B, and other diseases.

However, those who are found to have evaded military service are doomed to a miserable fate. If caught, they will be imprisoned for about two years. If they are found to be in rebellion against the state, they may be subjected to horrific torture and even lose their lives. In Russia, it is a very risky business.

If you go to the front, it is hell, and to escape military service, you must risk your life. …… The anguish of Russian men in dire straits will only deepen.

  • PHOTO Reuters/Afro

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