When a country starts casting around for 60-year-old veterans to send to the front, you know that something’s wrong. All hands don’t go on deck unless the ship is foundering. It’s not yet clear whether the Russian ship of state is taking on water. But its military effort in Ukraine is obviously at the SOS stage.
Last week, Vladimir Putin ordered up reservists from around Russia, the first such emergency appeal since World War II. The call is supposed to apply only to those with combat experience, but the net has been cast broadly to include anyone from 18 to 60. Even Putin allies have been forced to complain publicly about ridiculously ineligible men—old, disabled—who have been caught up in this “partial mobilization.” Notably absent from these insider critiques has been any acknowledgement that recruitment has focused on the poorest, non-ethnic-Russian parts of the federation. In Russia, as in the United States and so many other countries, poor minorities are the cannon fodder of first resort.
Russians of all nationalities have pushed back. Demonstrations broke out in 43 cities immediately after the announcement of the mobilization, and the authorities have detained nearly 2,400 people. Seventeen recruitment centers have been attacked in …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies