May 28, 2023

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Vladimir Putin may ban the sale of alcoholic beverages in Russia. What strategy does he have to recruit the Russians

Thousands of people are being called to arms, in all regions of Russia, after the partial mobilization decreed by President Vladimir Putin.

Some analysts claim that mostly men from rural, remote regions are mobilized. Among them are people without military training, although they should have been only reservists, according to the Ministry of Defense in Moscow.

In parallel, Russia is also facing a real exodus: at the border crossing points, thousands of Russians are flocking to flee the country, in order not to be sent to the front in Ukraine.

Two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement, the mood among Russians called to mobilization is deplorable.

Frequent fights in Russia among new recruits

The Internet was flooded with videos of thousands of ordinary people rounded up from all over Russia and sent to training camps. And discipline among future soldiers leaves much to be desired.

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Nerves are on edge, and fights are common among those called to arms by the Kremlin.

Alcohol consumption is also to blame in some cases, but there have already been reports that Vladimir Putin is going to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages in Russia, and some regions have already introduced restrictions. The same thing happened during the First World War.

For those mobilized, the news is not good at all. According to the Russian publication Meduza, the Kremlin intends to mobilize 1.2 million people, four times more than the number announced by officials. And sources in Moscow say the government wants to recruit fewer people from big cities and more from remote rural regions, where there is no media and no opposition to Russian plans.

In Moscow, a young man received the order of incorporation although, he says, he is a student.

Student: “I didn’t expect that I would have to leave today, nobody told me anything since the morning. They gave me a notice that I had to report to the police station at 3:00 p.m. I waited for an hour and a half, then the recruiting officer came and said we are leaving now. I said to myself: ‘great!’. I went outside and started calling my parents, my brother, all my friends to tell them that I was joining the army.”

The Russian authorities also called up a retired lieutenant colonel, aged 63, suffering from diabetes and cerebral ischemia, although his health and age should have exempted him from conscription.

Lieutenant-Colonel (r.) Alexander Yermolayev: “I didn’t do any medical test, nor was there any medical commission. A doctor told me I could go to war with my illnesses. They told us that we will have 2 weeks of training, then ‘buyers’ will come to take us to the units”.

The Ministry of Defense, led by Serghei Șoigu, stated in a statement that people working in “key roles” in Russia’s IT, financial and communications sector will be exempted from partial mobilization.

But a 32-year-old IT specialist employed at Russia’s largest bank has published a video in which he says he received the incorporation order on September 21, the very day Russian President Vladimir Putin announced, at 8 in the morning, that he ordered the partial mobilization by decree. Furthermore, he states that he has no military experience whatsoever, and health problems have prevented him from joining the army in the past.

Russians are desperately trying to leave the country

Several men from a village in Buryatia – a republic of the Russian Federation, in southern Siberia – were lifted from their beds at night, put on school buses and taken to the training camp, according to the report of an independent publication. Those incorporated are between 18 and 60 years old. And some have been ordered to enlist – it seems – even though they have no military training or experience at all.

Gender. Brigadier General Pat Ryder, Pentagon Press Secretary: “In many ways, this mobilization can answer the problem of insufficient troop numbers. It is not clear, however, in what way the problems related to command, control, logistics, support and especially the morale problems that we have seen with the Russian troops in Ukraine can be solved or not, significantly.”

During this time, the exodus of those who want to leave the country to escape the war continues at the borders of Russia. Finland, the last member country of the European Union that still had open borders with Russia, has already announced that it will drastically restrict access. Those who managed to go beyond denounce the war and the politics pursued by Putin.

Andrei Balakirov, local from St. Petersburg: “I think it’s something very serious. I do not support these decisions of the (Russian) government. I was mentally prepared for this. I wanted to leave since half a year ago, on March 31. I gave up then, but now I’ve made it.”

Yuri, a local from Moscow: “I don’t think it will end well. If people had done well (in Russia), they wouldn’t have stood in line at the border with Finland. I doubt most went on the trip. Maybe some of them are looking for a new life.”

And at a crossing point of the Russian border with Georgia, long queues of more than 10 kilometers were formed. They all want to get rid of a possible mobilization that would take them to the front in Ukraine.

David, local Stavropol: “Panic, all the people I know are panicking. Most don’t know what to do, there are enough who can’t leave. More than 70% of the population do not have passports”.

On the other hand, even if Poland, the Baltic states and, more recently, Finland want to cut off Russians’ access to the European Union, Berlin announced last night that deserters fleeing Russia to avoid participating in the war can apply for asylum in Germany.

The article is part of:

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