Sunday, December 17, 2023

Desperate to Find More Men to Serve in Ukraine, Moscow Now Conducting the ‘Harshest’ Draft in the Country’s History, Rights Activists Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 14 – To fill the ranks of its invasion force in Ukraine, Moscow is conducting “the harshest draft” in the history of the country, using a variety of police and siloviki to find men who might be seeking to avoid military service and force them to go into the army, Russian rights activist Grigory Sverdlin says (

            What may make such sweeps as documented by the SeverReal portal so serious is that they are taking place more often in major cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, rather than in smaller cities or rural areas (

            While such urban centers promise the siloviki a richer harvest, they also are likely to anger residents who have seen their relatives avoid service in Ukraine as the Kremlin has taken far more men from rural areas and non-Russian republics to serve as cannon fodder. And that anger could spark protests among urban residents more accustomed to demonstrating.

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