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Desperate for Recruits, Russia Launches a “Stealth Mobilization”

By: Bella Liu

Russian soldiers who fought in the war against Ukraine claim that they have not received proper pay and are being given poor medical treatment. However, their complaints have reaped no good rewards. Instead, the head of the Chechen Republic’s assistant scolded the protesters on television, calling them ungrateful and telling them to stop protesting because it isn’t going to work. The assistant also said that the soldiers who are protesting are a slim fraction of those who are enlisted. Russian authorities didn't hesitate to dispute any criticism directed toward their military because they urgently need more soldiers.

The Russians are desperate to find replacements for the many dead and injured soldiers who have fought in Ukraine. Authorities are trying to enlist soldiers using false information or, as some call it, “stealth mobilization,” in order to avoid a national draft, which would be very unpopular.

Many people question how long Russia will be able to carry on the war without a general mobilization. These critics state that Russia cannot win without one, but Russian leaders are trying to avoid that approach. Hence, they depend on poor minorities to fight, promising each recruit a large sum of money in return. A volunteer can receive up to $6000. In addition, authorities tell young men that they won't find jobs anywhere else, so it's best to stay in the military. Most of the volunteers have little to no prior training. Propagandists also claim that the military is “special” in order to make it seem appealing to potential volunteers. TV networks play ads for military jobs, detailing military specialties. By forming army units made up of people from one region, army recruiters hope that local nationalism will inspire more volunteers. Russian prisons are even releasing prisoners to fight in Ukraine in return for $4000 and a pardon if they come back alive. These tactics won't benefit Russia very much; however, they could help stabilize Russia for the time being.

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