Staunton, April 14 – Today, the Ukrainian General Staff reported that the Russian military is having great difficulty mobilizing enough North Caucasian men to fight in Ukraine and so has changed its approach there, relying less on the draft and more on offering large payments as incentives to those who agree to become professional soldiers.
Kyiv suggests that this reflects a growing unwillingness of North Caucasians during the war in Ukraine to join the Russian military, something they typically had been willing to do to get out of poverty and to acquire the military ticket that would allow them to become policemen (facebook.com/GeneralStaff.ua/posts/294787402834345).
Many have dismissed the Ukrainian claim as nothing more than war-time propaganda. But in fact, there is growing evidence from Russian sources that Moscow has made this shift (riadagestan.ru/news/security/vtroe_uvelichilos_kolichestvo_dagestantsev_zhelayushchikh_zaklyuchit_kontrakt_na_voennuyu_sluzhbu/, hernovik.net/content/lenta-novostey/vedyotsya-li-nabor-zhiteley-dagestana-dlya-uchastiya-v-specoperacii-v-ukraine and jamestown.org/program/moscow-may-not-be-able-to-count-on-north-caucasians-any-longer-to-fill-draft/).
And since that time, there has been additional confirmation of the reluctance of North Caucasians to become part of the Russian military. One Ingush 18-year-old facing the prospect of being drafted into the Russian military and then sent to fight in Ukraine says he is planning to emigrate to avoid that fate (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/04/ever-more-ingush-thinking-about.html).