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Desperate for Recruits, Russia Launches a ‘Stealth Mobilization’

By: Bella Lee

After spending six weeks on the battlefield, four Russian veterans recently posted videos complaining about their treatment. One said that he had been refused a payment of about $2,000, and another claimed that a local hospital rejected the request to remove a shrapnel in his body.

However, the followup was not what the public was expecting. The four were reprimanded on television and forced to renounce their original claims. Nikolai Lipa, a young Russian who claimed to have been cheated, now stated, “I was paid much more than they promised.”

The reaction to the complaints sent by the four Russian veterans emphasize how Russian officials want to limit criticism about their military service.

They were also desperate for more soldiers and launched a “stealth mobilization.”

To do it, the Kremlin is relying on penurious ethnic minorities, Ukrainians from separatist territories, National Guard units, and mercenaries. This has been reducing the risk of public recoils that hastened the end of previous Russian military fiascos, like the first Chechen war.

After Chechnya banned the use of raw recruits, men aged 18-27 are now required to complete a year of mandatory military service. Hundreds of soldiers were deployed in Ukraine after some sailors died in the Ukrainian-sank Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea fleet.


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