Staunton, Nov. 17 – One of the collateral consequences of Vladimir Putin’s declaration that Russia is annexing Ukrainian territory is that the Kremlin is now able to dispatch draftees to fight there and stay within Russian law which specifies that such soldiers are not to be used in military operations abroad, according to one regional anti-draft leader.
Two weeks ago, leaders of 29 anti-draft leaders in the regions of the Russian Federation issued an open letter calling for an end to the fall draft and a rapid move to a professional army (vesna.democrat/2022/11/01/prizyv-eto-nasilie-i-rabstvo/). Now 7x7 has followed up by interviewing some of them (semnasem.org/articles/2022/11/17/pochemu-aktivisty-v-regionah-vystupayut-protiv-srochnoj-sluzhby).
The comments of three of these regional anti-draft leaders are especially important. Semyon Kochkin, head of Angry Chuvashia, says that most draftees will be used in the portions of Ukraine Putin has declared to be occupied because they can be sent there in complete conformity with Russian law.
That means three things: First, it helps to explain why Putin “annexed” them: That action allowed him to avoid declaring a broader mobilization. Second, it means that Ukrainian forces are likely to greater success against these units because they consist of more poorly trained and led units. And third, it will spark more anti-war attitudes in the regions as bodies return.
Oksana Paramonova, head of the Soldier’s Mothers Committee of St. Petersburg, says that the war has destroyed the assumption many Russians had that the military had successfully modernized by showing how bad things remain for conscripts and how much repression there is within the ranks even now.
And Ilya Kosygin, editor of Vladimir’s Dovod, says it is also now clearer to everything that the army is “one of the social institutes of Russia which forms an authoritarian type of personality,” someone who accepts hierarchy and orders from above. For that reason if for no others, Russians must resist the draft.