Saturday, September 10, 2022

Pay More than Patriotism Behind Russians’ Willingness to Fight in Ukraine, Pastukhov Says

Paul Goble

Staunton, Aug. 13 – Many Russians are willing to fight in Ukraine for completely patriotic reasons, but many more, even if they feel patriotically inclined, are viewing the war as an opportunity make money given that in many regions, a man who chooses to fight in Ukraine can make ten times more than he can working at home, Vladimir Pastukhov says.

And as a result, “over the course of the last several week, testimonials have multiplied which show that a significant part of the ‘patriotically’ inclined residents of Russia love the Motherland with a special love, that is a love for money,” the London-based Russian analyst says (

In the backwoods, Pastukhov says, “few conceal that people are going to Ukraine to earn money.” As a result, it is entirely fair to say that whatever successes the Russian military has had there are due less to the generals than to the government’s bookkeepers. The role of propagandists is “overrated;” that of the finance ministry, very much “underrated.”

At the same time, he points out, reports of “mass recruiting” of Russian prisoners for service in the military if confirmed will go a long way to explaining “the character and excessive cruelty of this war. Money plus a gun in the hands of professional killers released from jail is this not ‘a Molotov cocktail’ for Russia of the 21st century?”

Both these developments are part of “the process of the dehumanization of residents of Russia, about which much was said and written at the start of the war.” Indeed, they represent “a qualitatively new stage” in this process and highlight “the intentional moral corruption of young” Russians.

And the consequences of that, Pastukhov concludes, are likely to be felt for “many decades after the end of this terrible war.” will feel many decades after the end of this terrible war.

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