Saturday, January 27, 2024

Russian Businesses Blocking Regime Efforts to Draft Their Employees to Fight in Ukraine

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 24 – Facing a worker shortage and demands by those who remain for higher pay, Russian businesses have been working to block regime efforts to identify and then draft their employees to fight in Ukraine by hiding information about them from the military commissariats, according to a new investigation by the Cherta news agency. 

            This problem last year grew to such an extent that as of October 1, the Russian government imposed higher penalties on businesses that failed to provide lists of their employees so that the regime’s military commissariats could identify men for service in Ukraine (

            But the penalties are still not so great and the likelihood that the authorities will impose them in any particular case – most employees of the military commissariats are elderly -- personnel offices with which Cherta journalists spoke say, that businesses have felt compelled to follow the letter of the law if it gets in the way of their operations and profits.

            Moreover, the investigation found, companies have a variety of strategies that allow them to hide employees from the military commissariats: They can spin off parts of their business into smaller portions that aren’t required to do this reporting, or they can change the status of employees to contractors about whom the government does not require businesses to report.

            Indeed, blocking employees from being drafted may be one of the reasons why the number of self-employed workers is skyrocketing, with one in five members of the Russian workforce now in that category (

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