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Russian mobilisation

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 Kalna_kaza 23 Sep 2022

There's obviously been a lot in the media about Putin's doubling down on his war. Protesting has come too late, those caught are conscripted on the spot. Lots of videos online of parents, wives and children saying goodbye to their loved ones. Equally lots of videos of drunk recruits staggering and fighting as they arrive at military bases etc. 

Given how many don't want to go and die, how effective are they going to be after just 2 weeks training and given most likely crap equipment?

I personally wouldn't want to be the officer shouting orders at a bunch of guys not wanting to be there. A high chance of being "accidentally" caught in friendly fire.

Latvia has explicitly banned entrance for draft dodgers and the other Baltic countries are effectively shut also. Finland remains a possible option for escape but bizarrely Germany has offered sanctuary to Russian conscripts.

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In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> There's obviously been a lot in the media about Putin's doubling down on his war. Protesting has come too late, those caught are conscripted on the spot. Lots of videos online of parents, wives and children saying goodbye to their loved ones. Equally lots of videos of drunk recruits staggering and fighting as they arrive at military bases etc. 

> Given how many don't want to go and die, how effective are they going to be after just 2 weeks training and given most likely crap equipment?

> I personally wouldn't want to be the officer shouting orders at a bunch of guys not wanting to be there. A high chance of being "accidentally" caught in friendly fire.

> Latvia has explicitly banned entrance for draft dodgers and the other Baltic countries are effectively shut also. Finland remains a possible option for escape but bizarrely Germany has offered sanctuary to Russian conscripts.

I don't think any country should offer safe haven for draft dodgers, who only want to leave now they are in mortal danger. Where were their morals when the cannon fodder were being sacrificed and innocent children were being blown up in Ukraine?

My view, if they believe in the 'operation' then they should grab their rusty AK47 and head to the front line. If they don't they need to mobilise in sufficient number against the Kremlin. The quickest way to shorten this war is to end Putin, ideally by his own people. Some would perish but lets see how the Russian people react when the propaganda machine cannot hide its polce killing its own citizens.

37
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

If Putin is making it clear that he wants to enlist such huuuuge numbers of reservists, it clearly indicates to the Russian people that things are going tits up for his Special Military Operation and hopefully they will stop believing his rhetoric bullshit, hopefully weakening his position in his own country. 

1
 kipper12 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

The last time the Russian army was in Europe, their troops had the NKVD offering their own brand of encouragement from behind.  Maybe Putin will try something similar now, who knows, he’s desperate enough.

 Forest Dump 23 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Easier said than done when your not the one living in an authoritarian, one party state hell hole.

3
 jkarran 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> Given how many don't want to go and die, how effective are they going to be after just 2 weeks training and given most likely crap equipment?

Probably not not very militarily, especially to begin with. After that, depends if they can be motivated, trained, equipped, marshalled and supplied well. Seems unlikely but most of Ukraine's fighting force weren't pros a year ago and it's easy to assume reluctance but what do most of them even know of the war from their media? They could already be surprisingly well motivated.

jk

In reply to kipper12:

Since Putin is a former KGB officer I'm sure that is already very very securely in place. The only change would be if the responsibility/cost gets bounced between departments (MVD/FSB/etc), but it never would have not been there. Existing troops and potential conscripts will be watched for sure.

In reply to kalna_kaza:

If a reasonable proportion of conscripts are unenthusiastic, that might be a military hindrance not a benefit. But politically this will be a big benefit to Putin.

Unlike how our media portrays it, in their media he is the patriotic father of the country doing whatever it takes to rally people to defend them from the Ukrainian Nazis and the NATO aggressors who want to exterminate Russia. Do you realise a lot of people actually believe that ******?

He is widely seen as a hero and this (partial mobilisation) just makes him more popular. Why do you think they have "Z" banners on buildings. If they watched our news, things would be different, but they don't!

3
In reply to Forest Dump:

> Easier said than done when your not the one living in an authoritarian, one party state hell hole.

I appreciate it's easy for me in the comfort of my armchair but your choices are; running away like a coward whilst leaving your homeland (family, loved ones etc etc - reminds me of the horrible sneak in the appropriately allegorical movie Titanic - he believed in the ships invincibility,  even pushed for it to speed up, yet took up a space in the women and children's boat when he knew it was doomed), being killed by a foreign army in the name of a false war or standing up to a tyrant with your comrades - because running away suggests you don't believe in the war but are happy for it to happen when it doesn’taffectyou personally.

I'd rather die as a hero than know I turned my back on my comrades and my country.

46
In reply to jkarran:

> Probably not not very militarily, especially to begin with. After that, depends if they can be motivated, trained, equipped, marshalled and supplied well. Seems unlikely but most of Ukraine's fighting force weren't pros a year ago and it's easy to assume reluctance but what do most of them even know of the war from their media? They could already be surprisingly well motivated.

> jk

They may have been motivated, but not now - they surely must know that the reason they are being enlisted is that Putin has run out of normal soldiers, who would have been better trained and better supplied than the new enlistees.  I think Putin wants to shove as many Russians as he can into his (soon to be) new Republics and hence justify significant escalation  (or at least threatening it).  

4
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I would run away as a coward, hopefully survive, and return as a father/husband. Looking after my family is waaaaay more important than other options. 

2
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> I'd rather die as a hero than know I turned my back on my comrades and my country.

Quote from Red Dwarf:
Cat: There's an old cat saying, "It's better to live one hour as a tiger than a whole lifetime as a worm."
Rimmer: There's an old human saying, "Who's ever heard of a worm skin rug?"

 jimtitt 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Since they have already served in the armed forces why do you assume they are badly trained?

And why do you assume they will be sent to the Ukraine front? They could equally well be used to replace the hundreds of thousands of troops in active service but doing nothing from the Eastern and Southern commands to make them available.

6
 wintertree 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

The only possible strategic side I can see to this is really grim.  

There aren't vehicles or even decent guns for most of the conscripts it seems.  So, send them under-prepared to the front line, and what can Ukraine actually do?   That's the key scenario to think through perhaps.  Options:

  • Engage in a Highway 80-style turkey shoot and loose support left, right and centre as they kill 10s of thousands of almost defenceless conscripts,
  • Buckle under the stress of trying to look after several times more constricts as POWs, honouring international obligations on their treatment whilst also fighting their war.

It's quite clever in an appalling evil and disgusting sort of way.  This of course assumes there are enough loyal soldiers to make sure the conscripts reach the front lines.

The only way this doesn't get really grim, really fast, is if the conscripts never make it to the front lines in significant numbers in the first place.

8
In reply to jimtitt:

> Since they have already served in the armed forces why do you assume they are badly trained?

Reading the thoughts of some retired US senior officers - including one who had before commanding EUCOM been the head of training for the US Army, and who had visited and observed Russian training during less tense times, they were definitely of the opinion that any service person coming out of the Russian system in recent years is de facto badly trained.

It would seem that the Ukrainians have much to thank the total corruption of so much of Russian institutional life, including the military, for in giving them time to build their resistance. 

1
 wintertree 23 Sep 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Since they have already served in the armed forces why do you assume they are badly trained?

I don't think they have all served in the Russian armed forces, given the various reports.

I don't think having previously served in the Russian armed forces implies good training.  Have you been paying attention to the widespread reports of widespread atrocities and incompetence from the occupying Russian solders?

3
 Derry 23 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> My view, if they believe in the 'operation' then they should grab their rusty AK47 and head to the front line. If they don't they need to mobilise in sufficient number against the Kremlin. The quickest way to shorten this war is to end Putin, ideally by his own people. Some would perish but lets see how the Russian people react when the propaganda machine cannot hide its polce killing its own citizens.

Your's is a very simplistic view of a very complicated situation for the individuals involved.

There is a vast difference in staying quiet in a country where voicing your opinion could mean 15 years in prison to believing in the operation as you put it. These 'draft dodgers' are obviously people who don't support the special military operation but still have lives, family and an income in a country where they were born. Now, faced with the very realistic chance of being forced to go to a war that you don't support, is the exact time I would also jump ship. 

I have a very good friend who is Russian, who thankfully left the country as soon as the invasion began. 

1
OP Kalna_kaza 23 Sep 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Since they have already served in the armed forces why do you assume they are badly trained?

Outside of the career battalions most Russian troops are just beasted by more senior officers during their conscription. Men in their 50s who haven't done military service in decades are eligible to be called up. The equivalent troops on the Ukrainian side are getting better and longer training.

> And why do you assume they will be sent to the Ukraine front? They could equally well be used to replace the hundreds of thousands of troops in active service but doing nothing from the Eastern and Southern commands to make them available.

That's a fair point, they could be. But Putin wants results in Ukraine, probably doesn't need huge numbers guarding sparsely populated far flung frontiers.

 wintertree 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Derry:

> These 'draft dodgers' are obviously people who don't support the special military operation but still have lives, family and an income in a country where they were born

I think that is some of them.  For them, throwing their life away and risking imprisonment to avoid being party to an attempted genocide is not cowardly, but decidedly brave.

Others are people who have been happy to cheer the war on on Telegram and Twitter etc, but who have no intention of being forcibly sent there.  Cowards, but consider their morally unintegrated position as like that of the meat eater who can’t bring themselves to kill their dinner. A position widespread not just in Russia but in many nations, ours included.  

I would say war brings out the best in good people, and the worst in bad people.

3
 Forest Dump 23 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Truck that, I'd be migrating and seeking asylum, citizenship, whatever.

Comrades is a pretty neboulous concept, look at how divided the UK can be (brexit). I wouldn't go to war for that or the values it represents on some vague fear of being perceived as a coward.

So, on your logic all Syrians/Afghans/Libyans/Ukrainians etc fleeing war are happy with the domestic conflict, as long as it doesn't impact on them personally. Pfft

1
 Phil79 23 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> I don't think any country should offer safe haven for draft dodgers, who only want to leave now they are in mortal danger. Where were their morals when the cannon fodder were being sacrificed and innocent children were being blown up in Ukraine?

> My view, if they believe in the 'operation' then they should grab their rusty AK47 and head to the front line. If they don't they need to mobilise in sufficient number against the Kremlin. The quickest way to shorten this war is to end Putin, ideally by his own people. Some would perish but lets see how the Russian people react when the propaganda machine cannot hide its polce killing its own citizens.

Very easy to suggest standing up and taking the moral high ground against Putin and the war, when you're sat in a country 1500 miles away, one where human rights actually have some meaning.

Probably a bit more difficult when you could be looking at a 15 year prison sentence for protesting, with a stay in a horrific penal system renowned for its brutality/death, or potentially much worse at the hands of the FSB.  

I suspect many ordinary Russians are horrified about what is going on, but probably equally terrified about the consequences of speaking out, and probably the last thing they want is to be drafted to a senseless war where they may well get killed.

Yes, Putin needs to be kicked out, but I have ever sympathy with 'normal' people who happen to live there and just trying to navigate the insanity of it all.

Post edited at 16:24
 jkarran 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> They may have been motivated, but not now - they surely must know that the reason they are being enlisted is that Putin has run out of normal soldiers, who would have been better trained and better supplied than the new enlistees.  I think Putin wants to shove as many Russians as he can into his (soon to be) new Republics and hence justify significant escalation  (or at least threatening it).  

Who know what they're being told or what they believe for that matter! I have no idea how media/tech savvy the average Russian youngster is, whether they really do only have the internal narrative or whether they have and generally make use of connections to a broader media ecosystem. I've heard the Russian rout in the north is being spun as a trap being laid for overextended Ukrainian forces... easy to believe if you're already drowning in bullshit.

jk

1
 montyjohn 23 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> I don't think any country should offer safe haven for draft dodgers

I was on the phone to a Russian girl today who I'm line manager for and she was fighting back tears explaining her family situation.

I think you're living in a bit of a bubble.

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 Phil79 23 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> I don't think having previously served in the Russian armed forces implies good training.  Have you been paying attention to the widespread reports of widespread atrocities and incompetence from the occupying Russian solders?

Exactly this. They are underfunded, hamstrung by corruption, suffer from extensive bullying culture (dedovshchina), and only typically serve for short period of time.   

Plus they dont have an NCO corps in the same sense as western military, making them very inflexible, slow to react on the ground, top heavy, and unable to operate independently to achieve operational/tactical goals. They are just worlds apart from 'professional military' of NATO countries (and now Ukraine).        

1
In reply to Phil79:

OK, I can see that my opinion has garnered a few responses and a generally negative reaction so I will try and explain what I mean. I also again accept its easy for me to spout bollox from my comfortable office chair in the reasonably safe UK.

Lets assume for a second that the Russians to which I am referring are the average Russian like you and me - decent, upstanding, with family and friends who just want a normal, happy existence (I realise that there will be ultra nationals who believe everything Putin pukes out but for the sake of my argument let's leave these out).

We know that Russia is an oppressive dictatorship but we can also accept that many millions to which I refer above are like you and me. Lets also try and put ourselves in their situation. What if Truss decided to attack Scotland for wanting to be independent - it is unpopular but we go with it as we have no choice (OK, the international community wouldnt accept this but go with me). We sent in the army and they were repelled back to Hadrian's Wall having made advances into the lowlands initially.

We were short on bodies so we started to demand all fighting fit individuals get to the front line and this was deeply unpopular. A few protesters kicked off and were quashed but the country then took a hard line and forced the issue - people were locked up for years or even killed for disobeying. Would you stand by in this situation or would you want to rise up, with others, against the government and fight to protect your values? Would you stand by and watch people jailed or killed for protesting or would you take to the streets and demand it stop. Or would you say, screw it, I'm on a plane to Ireland?

I'd like to think that when a government goes too far - Russia is long past this - the populace does something about it.

Russia has a large population; it isnt beyond imagination is it to think that at some point the country says no, we wont take this any more. Would the security services really kill people in their 00000s? Would the population really accept this?

I suppose I'm talking about a revolution.

And yes, I am seeing this simplistically perhaps, with very much an outsider's view on Russia and its means of oppression.

Post edited at 16:50
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In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Would the security services really kill people in their 00000s? Would the population really accept this?

They have done, in the last century. And the population know it, and think it likely it will happen again. They also know they have been living in an increasingly corrupt & repressive regime for the last 20 years. They know they may not be able to trust anybody else with their opinions. So it's pretty hard to organise a people's revolution.

 jimtitt 23 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> I don't think they have all served in the Russian armed forces, given the various reports.

> I don't think having previously served in the Russian armed forces implies good training.  Have you been paying attention to the widespread reports of widespread atrocities and incompetence from the occupying Russian solders?

What you "don't think" has no relevance to reality. My personal experience with the Ukranian armed forces tells me that the conscripts guarding me during my stay there were, well lets say less than impressive. These are now the ageing conscripts now part of the Ukranian forces since all reservists under 60 have been conscripted since February. The Russian situation probably isn't better but just painting the Ukranians as well trained effective forces and the Russians as worthless is complete optimism.

20
 Yanchik 23 Sep 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Yep. Well said. 

I speak/spoke it fluently and travelled widely in the Russian-speaking world 1990-2010 or so, at one point running a network of sales agents/distribution offices in about 20 locations. We had a lot of skilled young IT professionals who were pretty news savvy and knew about the outside world. My personal involvement fell back from about 2010 and thankfully I have relatively few close friends and acquaintances left from those years. 

So I believe - and I don't have a monopoly on truth - that you've got a generation between about 30 and 55, certainly the middle classes, wouldn't claim it goes right down to redneck level, who have a pretty clear idea of the outside world and the shortcomings of where they live. 

Older, I believe there's nostalgia for the stability of the Soviet era, and most news comes from the telly, so not much enlightenment. 

Younger, I don't know. I fear there's more pride/shame/nationalism than good judgement. 

So what's the sum of that going to add up to ? I don't know. It looks pretty unstable to me. 

Anyone who's thinking of laying down the morals for someone else in their country, bless you. If you've got no dependents or close family, carry on, you can probably climb some necky grades too. If you have them, just imagine the local mayor/police/heavies turning up at your mother/wife/daughter's place. They get dragged screaming to a place with a few iron bars and electric generators. What state do you think they'll come back in ? You think they'll come back ? You think you'd want them back after that ? Does your personal course of action feel a bit more constrained now you've thought about it ? 

That is what my friends and former colleagues are living through right now. Yes, I've donated to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. With hope rather than joy. 

2
 wintertree 23 Sep 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> What you "don't think" has no relevance to reality.

Nor does what I wrote apparently, as I was only talking about Russia and Russian forces, and you are replying as if I was talking about Ukrainian forces too.  It’s very clear I was not.

There is some confusion here and it’s not with me.  

> My personal experience with the Ukranian armed forces tells me that the conscripts guarding me during my stay there were, well lets say less than impressive.

Was this before Feb 2022?  A lot has changed since.  Either way, perhaps it says more about your relative importance than about their forces that you got conscripts for your guard.  

> but just painting the Ukranians as well trained effective forces and the Russians as worthless is complete optimism.

I am totally mystified as to why you think I did this.  I gave no comment on the Ukrainian forces, and made no comparison.  I simply suggested that training doesn’t appear very good in the Russian forces.

I’m not sure I’ve got it in my to keep replying if you’re going to keep inventing things I absolutely didn’t say or even imply.

3
 elsewhere 23 Sep 2022

On a lighter note:

'Little by little, Russian soldiers are starting to sell equipment to the Armed Forces of Ukraine under a special "program". As a result of such an exchange, one of the servicemen of the russian army received 5,000 dollars for the Tiger armored vehicle on the condition of complete anonymity.'

https://en.defence-ua.com/events/russian_military_began_to_sell_equipment_to_the_armed_forces_of_ukraine_5000_for_tiger_armored_vehicle_5000_for_tank-4314.html

3
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> I'd like to think that when a government goes too far - Russia is long past this - the populace does something about it.

I used to support an Iranian man who used a wheelchair (which I sourced).  He was on a demo in Tehran, got shot 9 times (he showed me the bullet holes), paralysed and was imprisoned. His escape story is film worthy. I know a Sudanese guy who was shot at and fled.  I could go on and on and on. And think Tiananmen Square.  These ‘governments’ are soooooo brutal that uprising is almost impossible.  

 Stichtplate 23 Sep 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> What you "don't think" has no relevance to reality. My personal experience with the Ukranian armed forces tells me that the conscripts guarding me during my stay there were, well lets say less than impressive. These are now the ageing conscripts now part of the Ukranian forces since all reservists under 60 have been conscripted since February. The Russian situation probably isn't better but just painting the Ukranians as well trained effective forces and the Russians as worthless is complete optimism.

We’ve got an awful lot of recent historical examples showing that the side with the most belief in the cause beats the side with the most training, troops and kit.

2
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> I used to support an Iranian man who used a wheelchair (which I sourced).  He was on a demo in Tehran, got shot 9 times (he showed me the bullet holes), paralysed and was imprisoned. His escape story is film worthy. I know a Sudanese guy who was shot at and fled.  I could go on and on and on. And think Tiananmen Square.  These ‘governments’ are soooooo brutal that uprising is almost impossible.  

Then I stand corrected. Perhaps I thought with the will of millions, a govt would have no choice but to change course or face obliteration.

1
 wintertree 23 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

>  Perhaps I thought with the will of millions, a govt would have no choice but to change course or face obliteration.

Depends how long they've been hollowing out those most willing and capable of resisting...  Some reports including one from CNN suggest that some of the anti-mobilisation protestors are themselves being arrested and forcibly mobilised.  It's a chance to hollow out a future internal uprising before it really begins.  A trademark of Putin is finding many different and grim ways to benefit from any given action.

Interesting to read about the rising wave of protests in Iran, that feels like it has a chance of reaching a tipping point.

 jimtitt 23 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Hmm, the level of training is surely only relevant compared to that of the opponents?

10
 wintertree 23 Sep 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Hmm, the level of training is surely only relevant compared to that of the opponents?

I was - as the thread clearly shows - only replying to your comment “Since they have already served in the armed forces why do you assume they are badly trained?”

You did not say “badly trained compared to the Ukrainians” and nor did my reply draw comparison.  It’s not a discussion I am looking to get in to.  My reply stood alone.  

I noted that not all those being mobilised appear to be former soldiers, and that “badly trained” seems pretty apt for the Putin era Russian forces.

If you want to start a discussion comparing training between the two sides, knock yourself out but my reply never begged that comparison.

1
 Uncle Derek 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Sadly, I think it was the body bags coming home that defeated the USA in Vietnam, possibly this will be the case with Russia and Ukraine.
Bloody awful, and all down to one mans Ego. Why is it always men?

1
 girlymonkey 23 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

On a lighter note, I saw a Ukrainian meme on Facebook today:

- I got my call up papers for the war today, but surely they know I am missing a leg?

- Yes, this is only a partial mobilisation!

1
 jimtitt 23 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> I was - as the thread clearly shows - only replying to your comment “Since they have already served in the armed forces why do you assume they are badly trained?”

> You did not say “badly trained compared to the Ukrainians” and nor did my reply draw comparison.  It’s not a discussion I am looking to get in to.  My reply stood alone.  

> I noted that not all those being mobilised appear to be former soldiers, and that “badly trained” seems pretty apt for the Putin era Russian forces.

> If you want to start a discussion comparing training between the two sides, knock yourself out but my reply never begged that comparison.

And I was replying to "how effective are they going to be after just 2 weeks training". And your point is?

16
OP Kalna_kaza 23 Sep 2022
In reply to girlymonkey:

I saw a rather darker meme / troll post a few weeks ago when Russia was still pushing highly paid soldier contracts. 

Russian advert on telegram app:

Sign up to the Russian army today and receive a free plot of land in Crimea.

Ukrainian advert on telegram:

Sign up to the Russian army today and receive a free plot of land in Crimea. [Photo of a freshly dug grave].

 Andy Hardy 23 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

.

> I'd rather die as a hero than know I turned my back on my comrades and my country.

Would you want to fight for Liz Truss? Or Charles III? 

7
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Sounds like you would have obeyed orders.

3
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Would you want to fight for Liz Truss? Or Charles III? 

If you are in the British Armed Forces then in essence you would as that is your job and what you declare in your Oath of Allegiance when you initially sign up.

In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> I would run away as a coward, hopefully survive, and return as a father/husband. Looking after my family is waaaaay more important than other options. 

What would you do if by doing so you knew that it would have repercussions on your family remaining in Russia? 

OP Kalna_kaza 24 Sep 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

At the moment though we have two totally separate sets of European positions with respect their views on Russian draft dodgers.

Latvia won't let them in, full stop. Lithuania has said Russians should mobilise and fight - Putin. Estonia and Poland, along with the previous two, have been saying for years that Russia can't be trusted, they need to sort their own problems out otherwise they pose an existential threat to their countries. These countries have spent up to 1% of their GDP on direct military aid to Ukraine, because if Ukraine loses they are next in line to be attacked. Yes they're NATO members, but the vulnerability of said countries from Russia is such that even a brief conflict would be a diaster for their populations.

Meanwhile Germany refused to send offensive weapons in case Putin upset the gas markets, then reluctantly decided to send weapons on limited amounts but sadly they wouldn't be available for months. After further pushing they started some smaller scale deliveries, even now they are pretty small fry in the weapons delivery department. Germany and the EU commission is now calling for countries to accept Russian draft dodgers, totally on another planet. 

It must be horrific for everyone in Russia with a loved being sent off to war. But not as horrific as bombing a maternity hospital, or a young girl having her head blown off whilst escaping her house near Kyiv, or the women who saw her husband shot and then herself being raped in front of her young child. If Russians don't want to die for Putin, I understand, but simply avoiding the problem isn't a good enough excuse in my opinion.

Post edited at 16:59
2
 Duncan Bourne 24 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

To quote Doctor Who "coward everytime"

So rather than have draft dodgers try and escape Putin you would much rather that they went to war and killed people?

Heros come in different shades I'd rather die for something I believe in even if that means turning my back on my comrades and country but overall I'd rather not die

Post edited at 17:43
1
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> To quote Doctor Who "coward everytime"

> So rather than have draft dodgers try and escape Putin you would much rather that they went to war and killed people?

I would rather normal, moderate, Russians mobilised and killed Putin and his inner circle.

> Heros come in different shades I'd rather die for something I believe in even if that means turning my back on my comrades and country but overall I'd rather not die

<mouthfart>

You know exactly what I'm getting at.

1
 Stichtplate 24 Sep 2022
In reply to FactorXXX:

> If you are in the British Armed Forces then in essence you would as that is your job and what you declare in your Oath of Allegiance when you initially sign up.

Nobody gives a toss about the oath. The reality is you'd fight for your mates and in a professional army that's lads you've trained with and lived with for years.

2
 Duncan Bourne 24 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> I would rather normal, moderate, Russians mobilised and killed Putin and his inner circle.

I would rather that they led a Tiananmen square protest too but imagine they would be killed before they got that far.

In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Would you want to fight for Liz Truss? Or Charles III? 

No, but a televised death match with Liz Truss fighting Charles III would make for great TV

In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> I would rather that they led a Tiananmen square protest too but imagine they would be killed before they got that far.

Fair enough. Seems you would want them to go and kill innocent Ukrainians or run away.

2
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Nobody gives a toss about the oath. The reality is you'd fight for your mates and in a professional army that's lads you've trained with and lived with for years.

In reality, both are a factor.  The camaraderie is an immediate emotional response and loyalty to the UK at a more subconscious level.
For example, if you're in a Infantry Regiment, then there'll be the Queens/Kings Colours which are definitely something that squaddies have a loyalty to.

 Stichtplate 24 Sep 2022
In reply to FactorXXX:

> In reality, both are a factor.  The camaraderie is an immediate emotional response and loyalty to the UK at a more subconscious level.

> For example, if you're in a Infantry Regiment, then there'll be the Queens/Kings Colours which are definitely something that squaddies have a loyalty to.

I was in an infantry regiment. The symbolism of the colours, regimental history, battle honours, etc are all part of building a sense of unit identity and no doubt play a part but for the most part, it's your mates*

*I never saw active service, I'm going off the opinions of friends and colleagues who did.

1
 ExiledScot 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I was in an infantry regiment. The symbolism of the colours, regimental history, battle honours, etc are all part of building a sense of unit identity and no doubt play a part but for the most part, it's your mates*

This is where short term conscription falls down. In a full time military when you move away from home, those around you become friends, work mates and in a sense family, the thought of king / queen and country as a driver is secondary, people work hard so they don't let those around them down. They might be given a task by their country, but it's carried out as a team, not a bunch of individuals. Hence the oft brutal, work intense, basic training: it cuts those older ties and rebuilds new ones in the military. 

Those Russian conscripts will be like a fish out of water and the death will be appalling. 

1
 Stichtplate 24 Sep 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> This is where short term conscription falls down. In a full time military when you move away from home, those around you become friends, work mates and in a sense family, the thought of king / queen and country as a driver is secondary, people work hard so they don't let those around them down. They might be given a task by their country, but it's carried out as a team, not a bunch of individuals. Hence the oft brutal, work intense, basic training: it cuts those older ties and rebuilds new ones in the military. 

Yep, one of you gets a kicking and you all feel it. Get a chance to hit back and you all want it. That's been human nature since we first formed tribes.

 henwardian 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

>  bizarrely Germany has offered sanctuary to Russian conscripts.

Actually it's a pretty good and logical idea. We should be doing the same (not that I can see it happening). Those conscripts will be young but not younger than 18, so any country that gets them will be gaining the entire sunk cost of feeding, educating and otherwise bringing up a child who has just reached the stage where they are now ready to start making an overall positive contribution to the economy by working (thus producing a product of some kind, or providing a service) and paying taxes (thus funding the government of an aging population).

Young people of today are, in economic terms, a resource that Europe has a very limited supply of due to falling fertility. Young people from Russia are both well educated and in sociological terms have much in common with EU countries when compared to similarly aged EU immigrants from many other countries.

Every capable young man the EU/UK can take is one more we benefit from and one less Putin can use in his war.

I'll leave the moral arguments about this to others.

8
 abr1966 24 Sep 2022
In reply to FactorXXX:

> In reality, both are a factor.  The camaraderie is an immediate emotional response and loyalty to the UK at a more subconscious level.

> For example, if you're in a Infantry Regiment, then there'll be the Queens/Kings Colours which are definitely something that squaddies have a loyalty to.

Not my experience....I signed on the line and the only real motive I had was the get the right beret....

I didn't give a toss about queen and country....

Most people join up when they're young and don't have a great sense of the world ...some exceptions of course but loyalty is to your mates......

OP Kalna_kaza 24 Sep 2022
In reply to henwardian:

I take the view point of LSRH I'm afraid. Those fleeing are doing so because they can, not necessarily because they object to the war. The Russians that are most critical of the war either left early, are in prison or have met untimely deaths involving high-rise buildings.

Latvia considers draft dodgers a security risk whilst at the same granting temporary residency to the staff of the last remaining independent Russia media. They already have issues with ethnic Russians who take the benefits of being a  Latvian resident but make meagre efforts to integrate, they certainly don't want any more.

Edit: it would appear that LSRH's post disappeared before I hit the post button.

Post edited at 19:52
In reply to abr1966:

> Not my experience....I signed on the line and the only real motive I had was the get the right beret....

But God is a Para, no?

 Billhook 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

It's an odd world.  I support Russian draft dodgers who do not want to go to war.  

Most people in most countries do not want war.  They just want to get on with their lives.

It is politicians who generally choose war and its often to boost their own popularity and not their population at large.

If we go to war when we are urged to do by our 'leaders', then are we not simply sheep following the leader regardless of our own beliefs?

 abr1966 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Dr.S at work:

I did my time yomping not poncing around loving myself..!!

In reply to abr1966:

> I did my time yomping not poncing around loving myself..!!

I think the back of the T shirt had something along those lines

 henwardian 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> I take the view point of LSRH I'm afraid. Those fleeing are doing so because they can, not necessarily because they object to the war.

I don't think that is a factor I would care about in the overall equation. I don't think it matters much whether they are for, against or don't give a crap either way.

> Latvia considers draft dodgers a security risk

This is a good point and I'd maybe change my original point a bit to refer to European countries other than Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and possibly Poland. If you don't have a land border with Russia, I don't think you need to worry about security risks. Any job in France/Germany/Spain/UK/etc. that is sensitive will have background checks anyway and I'd see legitimate Russian spies that are already in every country anyway as being the more meaningful threat.

1
In reply to jimtitt:

When were you in Ukraine? I thought one of the most interesting developments of the war was, according to various sensible commentators, how rapidly the Ukrainians have been able to improve their training for new soldiers - this was after system wide improvements in the regular forces with western aid since the disasters of 2014/15?

1
 abr1966 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Dr.S at work:

I'd just add....for clarity, that I worked with loads of other army regiments; guards, infantry and so on...all good lads....some of the toughest and most professional I ever met were Scots and Irish Guards, we always shared a beer etc...

In reply to abr1966:

Curious about this. Would you have been as happy to join the French army then if country loyalty wasn't t important to you?

In reply to ExiledScot:

> This is where short term conscription falls down.

How short term is "short term"?

My oldest starts uni tomorrow, so this summer he had to make the decision whether he was going to go this year or whether to defer a year and go back to Finland and do his national service. The minimum is 6 months, but it seems most do 12 months now particularly if you want to be in one of the readiness brigades, which are the best trained and most capable forces. 

There isn't so much serious conscription in western Europe these days, but the countries around the world that do have citizen armies - Finland and Israel being the obvious examples to my mind - (as opposed to ones that just press gang loads of poor lads into a military and treat them as disposable), I think see conscription in a quite different way. 

In reply to TobyA:

Finland and Israel both have a strong sense of threat to the nation to motivate flag bothering a bit more than we do. 
 

I wonder how US forces compare to the U.K. in this respect?

 Graham Mck 24 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

"I'd rather die as a hero than know I turned my back on my comrades and my country."

If we were talking about WW2 I would feel the same way, but being forcefully conscripted into Putin's army to fight an immoral war............ 

4
In reply to Graham Mck:

> "I'd rather die as a hero than know I turned my back on my comrades and my country."

> If we were talking about WW2 I would feel the same way, but being forcefully conscripted into Putin's army to fight an immoral war............ 

And this entirely misses my point, which is that I would prefer revolution. The heroism being to stand by my comrades in overthrowing Putin.

Post edited at 22:16
In reply to henwardian:

> I'd see legitimate Russian spies that are already in every country 

I don't think it's Russian spies we need to worry about...

 Misha 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

I’ve been reflecting on this, partly for personal reasons. In an alternative reality, where my parents didn’t emigrate to the UK 30 years ago, I’d probably be living in Moscow now and wondering what to do. I say probably as I might have emigrated even before the war, though that’s easier said than done.

In theory, they are meant to draft only those with prior combat experience and only up to 35 for non officers and 50 (55?) for officers. In practice, the local conscription offices seem to be drafting almost indiscriminately to meet their targets. As an example, they visited a load of flats in my great aunt’s stairwell - all those people can’t have had combat experience. Apparently her neighbour told them to do one. Not sure what, if anything, will happen to him. They didn’t visit her though, so I guess they figures that a 90 year old lady might struggle on the frontline.

Incidentally, in Soviet times uni students were exempt from conscription but did a short military course and ended up as second lieutenants. I don’t know if this is still the case or they are just totally exempt. Bizarrely, my gran was a captain in the medical corps despite never having been in the army. So I might have been an ‘officer’ and thus eligible despite being over 35. Not that age seems to matter anyway.

So, what would I do? Firstly, try to hide or just don’t open the door - they are meant to give you the call up papers in person, though think I saw something about this being changed to enable call up by post.

Beyond that, the options seem to be:

Bribe some official. I bet there will be a lot of that going on.

Refuse to go at some stage in the process. In theory, that’s 10 years in prison. In practice, who knows. If everyone refused to go, they wouldn’t be able to do anything because they can’t put 300k (or is it 1m?) people in prison.

Go to the training but refuse to go to the war. As above but probably more likely to end up in prison.

Go to the war and sabotage stuff and/or surrender at the first opportunity. 10 years in prison for surrendering but in practice most POWs won’t be going back home till the war is over and that will only be once Putin is gone…

There may be other options. One thing I would never do is actually go and fight. Firstly, this war is plain wrong and I would have known that (see next post). Secondly, pretty good chance of getting killed or injured and again I would have known that. I’d rather risk prison than getting killed…

In reply to FactorXXX:

> What would you do if by doing so you knew that it would have repercussions on your family remaining in Russia? 

Don’t know. I might flee with my family (in Wigan, about two thirds of all asylum houses belong to families).  Or, in your hypothetical example I may fight, but your example rarely/doesn’t happen. 

 Misha 24 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Why are most people going along with it? I think there are a few possible reasons.

Some people support the war and feel it’s their duty to fight. These people have fully bought into the propaganda and have a fanatical mindset. This would be a minority of the population though. Those who are most keen will have volunteered already.

However I suspect most people are either fairly indifferent about the war, or support it but aren’t keen to fight themselves. I think most of the population falls in this category. Just like in Soviet times, lots of people are absolutely fine with Putin and his war, as long as their lives are reasonably stable and they aren’t on the breadline. These people lap up the state TV propaganda and don’t even try to find out what’s really going on. It was the same in Soviet times. My parents always hated the Soviet system but that was far from common. Which is why if I were living in Moscow now, we’d be following Western media. It’s not hard to do, despite certain sites being ‘banned’ (you can get round it). Most people don’t want to know though.

Some of these people will just do as they are told because that’s what they are used to doing. Obedience to the state is ingrained in Russian history.

The rest of these people will be afraid of prison etc. I think an important factor here is that these people don’t realise how high the casualty rate is and what a shambles the army is. Therefore they figure that going to the ‘special military operation’ is better than going to prison. May be they hope to be allocated some non-combat role well behind the frontlines.

Social pressure from peer groups could also be a factor.

The prospect of getting paid is also a factor for those from poor areas.

The other factor is the absence of effective opposition which could take a lead against the war. Putin took care of that a long time ago. This is part of the reason for the protests being relatively small - there is no effective organisation. 

Still, as the body bags pile up, discontent will grow. Will we see a revolution of some kind or a palace coup? I hope so but it doesn’t look likely at the moment. The most likely catalyst is a humiliating defeat. This is why the West needs to get off its backside and supply Ukraine with all the arms it needs, not just what will keep the Russians at bay without actually defeating them.

1
 Tony De Luca 25 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> I would rather normal, moderate, Russians mobilised and killed Putin and his inner circle

Sounds totally straightforward. Perhaps you could get out there and rally the troops?

 ExiledScot 25 Sep 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> How short term is "short term"?

In this case having a week of weaponing handling skills then dumped in Eastern Ukraine. They won't likely have 6 weeks, never mind 6 months training.

On your point, you can achieve a lot in 6-12mths of well planned training. In any scheme the first month is lost to the culture shock and change, admin, covering the basics, but 6 months in they'd be fitter, focused, working better together etc.. 

OP Kalna_kaza 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Misha:

Thanks for your views, especially those on the different groups within Russia and options faced by many young men.

As you say ousting Putin directly doesn't look likely right now, but I think his days are numbered. Whether that's from refusals on the battlefield or from protests against a high body count I don't know. 

In reply to Kalna_kaza:

BBC News - Ukraine war: Hundreds arrested as Russian draft protests continue
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-63021118

Seems like a groundswell is emerging. And Latvia is taking the stance I suggested.

I dont understand why my position has been so negatively perceived. One or two of you even suggest I would prefer to go fight the Ukrainians. This is not what I'm saying at all but I really cant be arsed in trying to explain it again.

1
In reply to thread:

In a surprise to nobody,

"They thought of trying to leave Russia by driving from Buryatia into Mongolia but feared they were too late. Friends waiting in the massive queue of cars told her conscription officers had begun working the line."

Who'd have thought the border crossing queue would be a great place to find eligible people...

https://12ft.io/proxy?q=https://www.ft.com/content/a75f30d2-99c7-4e25-ac7b-c7a46c7bc824

1
 Dax H 25 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Then I stand corrected. Perhaps I thought with the will of millions, a govt would have no choice but to change course or face obliteration.

I like to think that if our government turned against us as you described or if the UK were invaded by a foreign power I would take up arms and fight. The reality though is that I live in a very safe country, I have never faced any real adversity (growing up in a poor household and working a 60 to 70 hour week now isn't real adversity) and the reality is that taking up arms to fight is probably far less heroic and Nobel as Hollywood leads us to believe.

1:Will stand and fight, 2:will I abandon everything and flee to another country with just the clothes on my back,  3:will I keep my head down and do the best I can under the new regime? 

Fortunately living in the UK means probably means we will never have to make that choice. 

We all like to think No.1, better to burn out than fade away, live as a lion not a lamb etc but if it came to it if your really and honestly look deep inside yourself and study your soul you will hear a feint bahhh deep inside. 

Obviously not me though, I will be John Rambo personified striking heroic poses and cutting down swaths of enemies like the grim reaper in a corn field and harvest time. 

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The Lithuanian foreign minister said the same yesterday on Twitter - that have an obligation to stay and fight/resist Putin. Finland has suddenly discovered a legal method after all to deny entry to Russians - they've been apologetically explaining for the last fortnight that they couldn't do what the Baltic States has done. So saying draft dodgers are not welcome is the norm in the European frontline states. 

There are loads of problems with this though, particularly it is pushing the role of refugee hosting onto poorer and much less politically stable states to the south, a number of which are openly in armed conflict with each other (Armenia v Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan v Tajikistan). There's also the question of how the Baltic States are treating non Russian irregular migrants on the border with Belarus and Russia - Lithuania has been accused by Amnesty of pretty severe human rights abuses against African migrants, including sexual violence.

 Duncan Bourne 25 Sep 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Fair enough. Seems you would want them to go and kill innocent Ukrainians or run away.


Does that even make sense?

OP Kalna_kaza 25 Sep 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> There are loads of problems with this though, particularly it is pushing the role of refugee hosting onto poorer and much less politically stable states to the south, a number of which are openly in armed conflict with each other (Armenia v Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan v Tajikistan).

Another consequence of Putin's strategic failure. Interesting how Russia has kept (relative) peace in these areas but has suddenly lost a lot of influence. Not hard to see other regional powers holding the balance in the future, namely Turkey and China.

> There's also the question of how the Baltic States are treating non Russian irregular migrants on the border with Belarus and Russia - Lithuania has been accused by Amnesty of pretty severe human rights abuses against African migrants, including sexual violence.

Belarus, and by extension Russia, have been bussing Iraqis etc to the borders of Latvia and Lithuania as a form of hybrid warfare along with persistent cyber attacks for some time now. Lithuania has received the biggest share of migrant drop offs, they're certainly not welcome arrivals and aren't seen as being the responsibility of the Baltic states. Obviously any abuses are not acceptable.

Previously smuggling of cheap cigarettes etc across the border was only seen as a minor problem but the recent uptick in border incidences had prompted fences to be built along with other infrastructure. As a general "stuff you" a lot of lorry drivers returning to Russia have found it's taking up to 12 days(!) to clear customs and immigration. The export of nice European foodstuffs to Russia has dropped off even if they aren't on the sanctions list just because Russian lorry drivers can't or won't wait so long to get back home.

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

I suspect he knows it and this partial mobilisation is one of the last rolls of the dice. Wouldn’t be surprised if he goes for increasingly wider mobilisation to keep the war machine going, betting on drawing out the war for year until the West stops supporting Ukraine. That is probably his only way through to some kind of victory.

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Dax H:

Worth adding that of the big differences between the British and Russian armies and police etc is that the British would follow orders only if they are legal. At least I’d like to think that…

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Actually I’m a bit surprised, didn’t think they were that intelligent. A

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to TobyA:

I can see why neighbouring countries with small populations won’t be keen on admitting lots of young(ish) Russian men. Not least because they would end up being flooded with spies, because how could you distinguish between those fleeing the draft and GRU operatives?

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

On a tangent - you mentioned Belarus. I wonder if Putin’s stormtroopers would have the bandwidth to help out Lukashenko if protests kick off there again. Tsikhanouvskaya said recently that the country is on the verge but I guess she would say that. I’m not sure the Belarusian security services would be willing or able to cope without a solid backstop of Russian support like last time. 

 felt 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Misha:

Jessica Berlin makes two reasonable points: "Millions of angry draft dodging Russians stuck in Russia will destabilize Russia. Millions of angry unemployed Russians stuck in the EU will destabilize the EU." and "Like it or not, this is war & Russia is targeting us. An open asylum policy for draft dodgers would let Putin pump moles & saboteurs into the EU at will. Until we have airtight security screening in place, RU draft dodgers should not be offered asylum. EU security is at stake." 

https://twitter.com/berlin_bridge

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to felt:

Indeed.

In reply to felt:

Spot on.

For everyone’s sake we need the maximum number of angry young men and their families in Russia right now.

Lots of angst coming through from the milbloggers at the moment about the mobilisation not going to plan. 

Allegedly on of the main roads into Dagestan has been blocked by locals protesting the mobilisation. More of this would be helpful.

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Meanwhile the ISW reports: “Russian forces may be preparing to forcibly mobilize Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) to fight for Russia, which would constitute a violation of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War.  Russian state media reported on September 24 that Ukrainian POWs detained at the Olenivka prison camp orally “requested” Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) authorities to allow them to fight in the DNR’s volunteer “Bohdan Khmelnitsky” Cossack Battalion.”

This could just be DNR propaganda but if it’s true, arming POWs is pretty crazy and desperate. Incidentally, the Nazis did this with some Soviet POWs who were willing to fight on their side because they hated Stalin’s regime due to the purges etc.

1
 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

Not just milbloggers. The heads of both chambers of parliament (both of them Putin’s acolytes of course) and the head of RT (not a person who would criticise the regime) have all noted that people have been called up ‘incorrectly’ and called on this to be sorted out.

Presumably this is a way to try to let off some steam. The Tsar is listening and his overzealous officials will be reigned in. Nothing to do with the fact that the Tsar happily presides over a corrupt and incompetent system.

There’s a saying from the Soviet times which remains apt: we wanted to make it better but it panned out as usual.

 elsewhere 25 Sep 2022

UK MoD on twitter today saying that mobilisation may be used to strengthen internal security forces.

https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1573911829910364160

Post edited at 16:28
 Duncan Bourne 25 Sep 2022
In reply to felt:

A reasonable point

 Misha 25 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Novaya Gazeta (an opposition online paper) is citing Kremlin sources that 261k men have left Russia since the mobilisation started. Apparently the Kremlin is considering closing the borders to men of mobilisation age but Putin doesn’t want to do it until the sham referenda have finished. Also he’s gone on holiday.

Link is in Russian https://novayagazeta.eu/articles/2022/09/25/istochniki-v-fsb-naschitali-bolee-260-tysiach-pokinuvshikh-rossiiu-muzhchin-siloviki-khotiat-zakryt-granitsu-no-putin-ne-naznachaet-obsuzhdenii-news

1
In reply to felt:

> Jessica Berlin makes two reasonable points: "Millions of angry draft dodging Russians stuck in Russia will destabilize Russia. Millions of angry unemployed Russians stuck in the EU will destabilize the EU." 

Millions ? And why angry if Europe has given them asylum?  And why unemployed ?  
Putin has always been able to place moles and saboteurs into Europe, and has done so.

An argument could be made that having ‘millions’ of draft dodgers in Europe, hopefully feeding the truth back to friends and family, could help destabilise Putin  

2
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers

> I'd rather die as a hero than know I turned my back on my comrades and my country.

Think of all the heroes buried all over the world. They stood up to the cartels in Mexico, the cattle ranchers in the Amazon, the junta in Myanmar, the mafia in Italy, the Chinese army tanks in Tianmen Square, etc etc etc. Dying in unspeakable cellars or nameless fields.  Their number and names unknown. 

Maybe they somehow know when we light a candle on Holocaust Memorial Day?

Yours is just another version of the old lie: Dulce et decorum est...

3
 felt 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> An argument could be made that having ‘millions’ of draft dodgers in Europe, hopefully feeding the truth back to friends and family,

It certainly could be, but the idea that everyone in Russia will listen to people outside Russia, even close family members, has been shown to be highly unlikely by the number of Ukrainians with contact with people in Russia who've simply broken off friendships and other ties. I've read numerous reports of Russians simply not believing anything that their Ukrainian friends/relatives tell them, i.e. getting the response that the corpses on the streets of Bucha are Western propaganda, actors who got to their feet when the cameras departed.

The so-called 'Muscovite mindset' is what sent Russians POWs in Germany in WWII to the gulags on return post-war, because of 'contamination'. Has much changed in that regard apropos the West?

> Millions?

Over 200k in under a week so far, and these mainly men of a certain age threatened with the draft. Who know what the total will be? Millions doesn't seem impossible.

> could help destabilise Putin  

What will destabilise Putin is a spot of realpolitik courtesy of the nomenklatura. Putting military/economic considerations to one side, this seems more likely to happen if protest remains within the country, as per Eastern Europe in 1989/90.

Post edited at 08:56
In reply to felt:

All good points. 

In reply to Misha:

> Worth adding that of the big differences between the British and Russian armies and police etc is that the British would follow orders only if they are legal. At least I’d like to think that…

Largely true at present, however there's a fair few people in the UK population who'd love to put a few hundred rounds from a GPMG into the enemy* given the chance.

*Provided the enemy is unarmed and in a rubber dinghy in the channel.

4
OP Kalna_kaza 26 Sep 2022
In reply to Misha:

Things are starting to turn ugly in various spots, a drafting officer was shot by someone who wasn't keen on being sent to Ukraine.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/26/russia-man-shoots-commander-drafting-residents-for-war-in-ukraine?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

 Misha 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

The ISW is quite sceptical about the mobilisation making much difference. Summary below and more detailed analysis in the link. They make some very good points about how the Russian military system has evolved in recent years and the systemic challenges now faced by Putin’s cronies. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to overcome fundamental structural challenges in attempting to mobilize large numbers of Russians to continue his war in Ukraine. The “partial mobilization” he ordered on September 21 will generate additional forces but inefficiently and with high domestic social and political costs. The forces generated by this “partial mobilization,” critically, are very unlikely to add substantially to the Russian military’s net combat power in 2022. Putin will have to fix basic flaws in the Russian military personnel and equipment systems if mobilization is to have any significant impact even in the longer term. His actions thus far suggest that he is far more concerned with rushing bodies to the battlefield than with addressing these fundamental flaws.

https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-september-25

 wintertree 27 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertre

> Buckle under the stress of trying to look after several times more constricts as POWs, honouring international obligations on their treatment whilst also fighting their war

https://mobile.twitter.com/RALee85/status/1574525280185638925

"Wagner’s forces attack only so far before sending inmates with little support forward to face Ukrainian guns like 'cannon fodder'...tactics have left Ukrainian forces in the region with a flood of prisoners as the inmates frequently surrender."

Sounds like they could be trying to flood the Ukrainians with POWs.  

 fred99 27 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> Sounds like they could be trying to flood the Ukrainians with POWs.  

Maybe the Ukrainians could send all these POW's to the Hague under "suspicion" of war crimes - after all, it's an unprovoked invasion.

That would leave them free to get on with killing those who don't surrender, and those who have would be incarcerated for months before any "legal eagles" get them to court.

It would also free up the food reserves that must be spent on these POW's to be used for Ukrainians themselves - both military and civilian.

Very unlikely to happen I know, but it might possibly persuade certain European nations to send more support to Ukraine in order to bring this to an end rather than dragging their heels.

2
In reply to fred99:

According to local reports Sep 25th around Lyman Russia lost

1 KA-52, 1 Mi-8, 2 SU25, 1 SU30SM, 2 SU34 and 6 UAV (drones)

Footage here of the SU30sm being shot down

https://www.kyivpost.com/russias-war/watch-video-shows-moment-russian-jet-shot-down-over-ukraine.html

In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

I can’t say things are looking good from the Russian conscripts. This is directly from Rybar’s (Russian Milblogger) telegram channel:

”🇬🇧🇺🇦 A video from one of the [Russian] military units is circulating on the net, where a soldier (probably a medical instructor) conducts a briefing for the [Russian] mobilized. The woman tells the fighters to buy their own medicines, women's pads to combat dampness in their shoes and other personal items. She ends her speech succinctly: "Guys, take care of yourself!" And the girl can only shake hands for the fact that she directly and without embellishment brought the real situation to the personnel. After all, thanks to the responsibility and honesty of an experienced female soldier, people will go to the front line at least partially prepared for military life. We have repeatedly written that the logistics system of the RF Armed Forces has not passed the test of the war. And while the Defense Ministry is only thinking about changing it, the tasks of equipping people must be solved now. And let the mobilized fighters go to the front with tourniquets from car first-aid kits, tourist rugs and sleeping bags from sporting goods stores than go there without anything. This can save their health and lives. #Russia #Ukraine @rybar”

It’s somewhat comforting knowing that things have got so bad for the Russians they can’t even provide basic healthcare or sleeping equipment for their new troops.

Fancy being told to buy sanitary towels to keep your feet dry before you go into battle and face Ukrainian bullets.

In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Fancy being told to buy sanitary towels to keep your feet dry before you go into battle and face Ukrainian bullets.

You might want to watch this

https://nitter.hu/wartranslated/status/1574721960281513990#m

I don't think they're planning for them to be there long. 

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Looks like Moscow is going to sanction Ukraines' Naftogaz, which would prevent it from being able to pay transit fees, therefore putting at risk gas flows to Europe via Ukraine. In conjunction with the sabotage of the Nord Stream line just off Denmark, this is Putin ramping up the winter fuel crisis.

Post edited at 16:47
 Pedro50 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Cutting off gas to piss off western Europe will be as ineffective as Hitler bombing London or the IRA targeting mainland UK. They just don't get it.

1
OP Kalna_kaza 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

That guy is on the verge of tears, understandably. Being sent with no training to join a tank regiment, must be horrendous. At what point do you decide the 10 year prison sentence might be worth a gamble?

I just can't see how they are expected to be effective soldiers. Surely the risk of conscript attacks on commanders is only going to get worse?

In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Fancy being told to buy sanitary towels to keep your feet dry before you go into battle and face Ukrainian bullets.

Wonder if something got lost in translation? I'd have thought advising them to buy tampons for bullet wounds would be more likely.

In reply to Ridge:

Quite possibly.

Tampons for bullet wounds or pads for trench foot? What would you rather be carrying?

Either way it paints a very grim picture of Russian logistics and the fact that it’s so widely known, the milbloggers are discussing in detail, is telling.

 wercat 27 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

I keep getting a whiff of the fictitious armies Hitler had coming to relieve Berlin in 1945 in this.

Putin is perhaps calling up a "real" (in a physical sense only) army with fictitious capability.  It doesn't matter to him what happens when they have contact as long as they could be filmed going to the front first.

Putin too is vaunting his V weapons

Post edited at 22:17
 wintertree 27 Sep 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> the milbloggers are discussing in detail, is telling.

Interestingly perhaps, the bloggers and their state TV (Fascist News Network basically) are being allowed (encouraged?) to become increasingly critical without apparent consequence.

Momentum is building.

 Misha 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

Some seriously impressive moves there. 

 Misha 28 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

To let off some steam - and they’re blaming the officials, not the Tsar.

 Misha 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Ridge:

She says get both pads and tampons. The latter for bullet wounds. 

 yorkshireman 28 Sep 2022
In reply to Ridge:

> Wonder if something got lost in translation? I'd have thought advising them to buy tampons for bullet wounds would be more likely.

I thought I read somewhere that tampons are no good for bullet wounds because they absorb blood whereas what you're looking for surely is something to stem the blood flow as fast as possible. 

Thankfully I'm not, and hope I'll never need to be, an expert so I'm not necessarily standing by that statement. 

 Misha 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

The latest development seems to be potentially getting Belarus involved and /or using mobilised Russians (mobiks) to invade from Belarus. Seeing as the last move on Kiev went so well… I suspect it’s a feint to divert some of the Ukrainian forces to shore up the Belarus border but who knows?

I can’t see what Lukashenko has to gain from getting involved directly (or even indirectly). If he sits tight, he might even outlast Putin… Besides, I imagine the Belarusian army has negative motivation to fight Putin’s war and could well move against Lukashenko. Might we see the end of two despots - two for the (hefty) price of one?

In reply to yorkshireman:

> I thought I read somewhere that tampons are no good for bullet wounds because they absorb blood whereas what you're looking for surely is something to stem the blood flow as fast as possible. 

All dressings applied to wounds absorb blood and it's the combination of that and the pressure applied by the wrap around bandage that hopefully stems the flow of blood.
If that doesn't work, then a tourniquet might be a last resort option.  
It's also worth noting that British Army/NATO Field Dressings were/are multi-lingual and the French text included the word 'Tampon'.

 birdie num num 29 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

The west should unreservedly welcome every Russian citizen escaping the draft.                   Anyone who feels judgmental should consider fighting in Ukraine, on the front line.

12
OP Kalna_kaza 30 Sep 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

That is a terrible idea. Many of these guys aren't against the war, just against fighting in it. Imagine having a new population of Russians living in nearby countries to Russia, only for them to be met with at least some hostility. What might Russia do, offer to protect them in some way? We've seen how that scenario works out.

If you ignored neighbouring countries and just mean western Europe then it's still a terrible idea. Yes, they might bring some skills and experience, possibly a economic boost but Russia has long sought to undermine the democracies of other countries. Inviting a large influx of people who could still be coerced isn't smart.

I think Ukraine's defence is best served by a well trained professional army, not just the next man off the street - again we're seeing how that scenario is playing out. 

1
 girlymonkey 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> That guy is on the verge of tears, understandably. Being sent with no training to join a tank regiment, must be horrendous. At what point do you decide the 10 year prison sentence might be worth a gamble?

Zelensky has told Russians that they will be treated fairly if they surrender, that sounds to me like the best option. Probably a safer bet than risking Russian prison (and probably getting mobilised again from there!)

1
OP Kalna_kaza 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Misha:

Hard to tell what is going on in Belarus. As horrible as Lukashenko is I don't think he's stupid enough to force mobilisation or get directly involved in Ukraine. 

Unlike Russia where Putin has enjoyed widespread approval the same can't he said for Lukashenko. Last year's protests weren't far off toppling the regime, any push towards mobilisation could be fatal to his grip on power. The pro-democracy movement has grown overtime despite an almost total crackdown over the years.

Belarus is like a time warp, not as bad as Transnistria but none of the sparkle of big Russian cities. Most Latvians I know feel some  affinity with Belarusians, like they could of been similar to the other Baltic states but somehow missed the boat in the early 1990s. 

I suspect mobilisation in Belarus would have enough desserters with weapons and too few loyalists to defend the regime. With Russia preoccupied in Ukraine the position of Lukashenko would be iffy.

 ExiledScot 30 Sep 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> The west should unreservedly welcome every Russian citizen escaping the draft.                   Anyone who feels judgmental should consider fighting in Ukraine, on the front line.

No, they have many options:

Rise up in Russia 

Surrender during battle

Shoot their commanders

Russia is clearly prepared to do everything apart from nuclear to win, so Europe doesn't need unvetted potentially loyal Russians freely running around it. 

Post edited at 07:11
1
 birdie num num 30 Sep 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

Great.

Which option would you take?

In reply to ExiledScot:

> No, they have many options:

> Rise up in Russia 

> Surrender during battle

> Shoot their commanders

And all three of those have a high probability of ending in you being killed, imprisoned for a long time, or never seeing your home, family and friends again.

Which of those would you do?

1
 neilh 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

I have read that Lyman is expeceted to be the next excellent Ukranian success story, it will be another blow for the invasion if this happens. Fingers crossed.Its a key rail hub I believe.

 jkarran 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

> Cutting off gas to piss off western Europe will be as ineffective as Hitler bombing London or the IRA targeting mainland UK. They just don't get it.

I wouldn't be so sure. The direct economic impact of an energy shortage will be painful. The Reaction of governments to ease the pain through borrowing will weaken economies, weaken the ability of governments to keep supplying arms and win elections at home. As we've just experienced efforts to ease the pain in Europe may backfire very very badly. Expect a lot of political instability in Europe over the next couple of years and in each of those elections there will be strong campaigns with alluring tales of easier futures from appeasers and disruptors. Putin is in Ukraine for years if he's going to consolidate his gains, it's a long game and we will tire of the pain eventually then we'll do something really stupid.

jk

2
 Rob Exile Ward 30 Sep 2022
In reply to mountain.martin:

Personally I'd go for the option not mentioned - surrender before battle. 

 wercat 30 Sep 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> Great.

> Which option would you take?

fragging

 elsewhere 30 Sep 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> The west should unreservedly welcome every Russian citizen escaping the draft.                   Anyone who feels judgmental should consider fighting in Ukraine, on the front line.

Nobody on the internet says "I'm an average Joe, so like the average Joe in WW2, I wouldn't join the resistance or desert the army". 

Post edited at 12:44
 ExiledScot 30 Sep 2022
In reply to birdie num num:

> Which option would you take?

Shoot my commander then surrender, it's a win win for both Ukraine and Russia long term. 

2
 ExiledScot 30 Sep 2022
In reply to mountain.martin:

> And all three of those have a high probability of ending in you being killed, imprisoned for a long time, or never seeing your home, family and friends again.

Putin has no intention of these conscripts ever coming home, they'll be fighting until their death either way. 

In reply to ExiledScot:

Rumour has it that 13 minutes ago Ukraine applied to join NATO.

I’m trying to work out if it’s just mindless rumours or true.

That might make things interesting.

1
 wintertree 30 Sep 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

A lot of different things signalling escalation this week.  A lot.

In reply to wintertree:

It seems to be true - the guardian has confirmed it anyway.

Are you still tracking flights? Have 747s started an ominous migration from east to west?

1
 wintertree 30 Sep 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

I haven’t been looking for a few months but might…. I did catch a pre-hurricane Ian exodus of military stuff from Florida mind.

OP Kalna_kaza 30 Sep 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Have 747s started an ominous migration from east to west?

Genuine question, what are you referring to?

In reply to Kalna_kaza:

The USA would be moving 100,000 plus troops into Germany and Poland pretty quickly if there was an immediate risk of the conflict enlarging to include NATO members.

747s would be the primary mode of transport.

2
 ExiledScot 30 Sep 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> The USA would be moving 100,000 plus troops into Germany and Poland pretty quickly if there was an immediate risk of the conflict enlarging to include NATO members.

Even if the USA did escalate, it would be primarily air and naval at first, cruise missiles etc.. unless you have air superiority you don't want troops on the ground, to gain the air you need to destroy the enemy's air defences first. 

> 747s would be the primary mode of transport.

It's not the 1990s anymore, there are more modern mass transit aircraft. 

 jkarran 30 Sep 2022
In reply to VSisjustascramble:

> Rumour has it that 13 minutes ago Ukraine applied to join NATO. I’m trying to work out if it’s just mindless rumours or true.

True it seems!

Not sure what it's supposed to achieve though since I can't see them having a cat in hell's chance of being admitted while they're actively at war with Russia, it would amount to the declaration of the 3rd pan-European war in a century and likely the last.

Maybe it's Zelenski planning for a stable peace giving up all or most of what Russia has annexed but drawing a hard line in the earth at the new border? But Ukraine is still on the front foot and well backed. Maybe that backing is softening behind the scenes? Maybe they're taking the nuclear territorial defence threats seriously?

None of it seems very likely!

Edit: What a week

jk

Post edited at 15:58
 wintertree 30 Sep 2022
In reply to jkarran:

> Not sure what it's supposed to achieve though since I can't see them having a cat in hell's chance of being admitted while they're actively at war with Russia, it would amount to the declaration of the 3rd pan-European war in a century and likely the last.

Opposite view - get membership ready (which is going to take quite some time) contingent on achieving an end to hostilities with all the enemy kick out of their territory.

 jkarran 30 Sep 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> Opposite view - get membership ready (which is going to take quite some time) contingent on achieving an end to hostilities with all the enemy kick out of their territory.

Seems more likely than him throwing the towel in. the timing just seemed odd but I suppose as a symbolic response on the day to Putin's annexation ceremony it makes sense.

jk

In reply to jkarran:

I'm looking forward to seeing Vladimir Putin visiting the newly annexed regions of Ukraine, so he can enjoy the warm welcome he is sure to receive from the enthusiastic new Russian citizens...

 jkarran 30 Sep 2022
In reply to captain paranoia:

But 98% of them love him surely!

jk

In reply to jkarran:

> But 98% of them love him surely!

116% at the last count...

1
In reply to Ridge:

“One voter, 16,472 votes - a slight anomaly?”

“Not really, Mr Hanna. You see, Baldrick may look like a monkey who's been put in a suit and then strategically shaved, but he is a brilliant politician. The number of votes I cast is simply a reflection of how firmly I believe in his policies”

“Well, that's excellent. That's all for me - another great day for democracy in our country”

 Misha 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Agree. Also the ISW yesterday was pretty sceptical about the idea of Luka getting actively involved. They suggested Belarus could offer training and garrison grounds for the Russian mobiks. 

 Misha 30 Sep 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

Re the NATO application, it’s just positioning. Putin does this, we do that. It doesn’t have any practical impact as NATO won’t admit Ukraines until there’s a peace treaty. The main downside for Ukraine is it plays into the Russian narrative that they’re fighting against NATO - hence I’m a bit surprised by the application.  

1
In reply to elsewhere:

> Nobody on the internet says "I'm an average Joe, so like the average Joe in WW2, I wouldn't join the resistance or desert the army". 

”What did you do in the war, Dad?”

”Nothing Son, soon as I got called up I dumped my then wife and kids and legged it”.

”Oh, were you a conscientious objector?” 

“Was I bollocks, I thought it was great until I got called up, then I thought ‘Sod that for a game of солдаты, I'm off to anywhere daft enough to have me'”

 felt 01 Oct 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

This is a sobering analysis. Basically, Russia will lose face if it's defeated by Ukr but not by US, therefore nukes.

https://twitter.com/kamilkazani/status/1575510055369293824

 Murderous_Crow 01 Oct 2022
In reply to felt:

Depressingly, I think this researcher may have a point. In terms of his credibility, he works for a reputable institution, and doesn't seem given to hyperbole. 

Putin has completely failed to consider the consequences of failure, and as soon as Ukr made its determined resistance clear, he's been painted into a corner - both in his foreign policy, but more importantly domestically. 

It seems Rus support for the conflict remains quite high. As such his nationalistic tub-thumping and propaganda machine is proving to be a double-edged sword. Right from the off, he could not fail. Now that he's failing very deeply, the stakes are raised.

Whether he'd be desperate / deluded enough to consider a nuclear strike on Ukraine to provide an 'easy' way out of the conflict remains to be seen. But we know that he's been happy to play fast and loose in the nuclear sphere, with his brinkmanship around Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia. 

 Murderous_Crow 01 Oct 2022
In reply to felt:

In terms of the story this tells for Putin at home, it's a less humiliating option than being militarily and strategically outclassed by Ukraine. This given the generally-accepted Russian perception of Ukraine as 'inferior', the US as 'superior' and Russia as the victim of Western aggression. It ties these threads into a coherent story that, while probably ensuring global isolation in the short to medium term, also allows continuation of his regime.

So the idea is rational, in a way. In terms of other ideas allowing Putin to achieve anything other than ignominious defeat, I can't think what options remain. 

If Russian public opinion of the 'special military operation' remains high, he will need to do something. As we move into winter conditions in Ukraine will deteriorate massively, and this will inevitably and disproportionately affect the invading force. He has already used and drastically depleted his best forces, and is now resorting to a call-up of old men and kids with little if any military experience. They will not be well-trained by the time they enter combat, and will likely surrender or mutiny in many cases. This is going to be a tough sell for Putin at home. 

1
 Misha 01 Oct 2022
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

Independent polling suggests that support for the war is ebbing due to the mobilisation. A lot of people were previously broadly supportive or just didn’t want to think about it and certainly didn’t actively oppose it. Mobilisation is bringing it home for them.

That said, I’m a bit surprised people aren’t refusing to join the army en masse. I suspect many of them think “pronesyot” - meaning it will blow over, it will pan out ok, I will get away with it. Literally, it means ‘it will carry through’ and hence it also means ‘I will have the shits’. There’s an old joke:

Russian Civil War red guard soldiers are sitting in a trench. A shell explodes nearby but no one is injured.

Soldier 1: “Proneslo.” - meaning it skipped us, but also meaning I shat my pants. 
Soldier 2: “I did as well.”

 Darkinbad 01 Oct 2022
In reply to felt:

I'm imagining a sort of grim, modern remake of The Mouse that Roared, with Peter Sellers as Putin, Zelensky and Boris Johnson, played high on farce but not, unfortunately, laughs. Or perhaps Dr Strangelove would be a more apt comparison.

 Murderous_Crow 01 Oct 2022
In reply to Misha:

That's an interesting perspective, thanks - the last polling I'd seen was the other day, from the Levada Center, which talked about a surprisingly high level of support, I think 72%? It's good that the data are equivocal on this: maybe public opinion can help induce more sensible courses of action. 

Interestingly the WP is carrying some analysis on the current domestic situation, talking with the director of said institute and a colleague of his from the Carnegie endowment. I found this line telling, and it shows how relatively simple responses to polling are in truth far more complex:

'There was a double motivation: Electoral, which is designed to provoke joy over the fact that Russia is regaining its ancestral lands, and military, which should support the electoral. But there is no joy... Putin is forcing Russian men to share responsibility for the war with him [with] the announced mobilization of 300,000 new troops. That is why even if formally the numbers of support for Putin and the war decrease only slightly, the distrust of the regime will increase.'

What's your take on how this might evolve? Let's hope pronesyot before the whole world pronesyots itself.

1
 Misha 01 Oct 2022
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

Ah it was the same poll, I had seen that 47% of respondents said they had felt anxiety, fear or dread following the mobilisation announcement but as you say support is 72%. The actual poll isn’t on their website yet as far as I can see so it’s down to what gets cited elsewhere. Very little independent polling there of course.

 Murderous_Crow 01 Oct 2022
In reply to Misha:

Yeah it's a sad fact how the regime has utterly abandoned any kind of progressive values. 

Reading a transcript of Mr Putin's speech was illuminating. Full of hyperbole, it rails against 'Western' values in a similar way a certain 20th-century leader was wont to use, with description of parasitism and other nasty phrases used against examples that in some cases, the West cannot cogently defend. It's a mix of truths, half truths and tubthumping spin that leverages nationalism and transphobia, and contains many tropes that extreme conspiracy theorists have used for many years... Really sad that this thinking now constitutes the formed foreign policy of a major world power. 

1
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

> Depressingly, I think this researcher may have a point. In terms of his credibility, he works for a reputable institution, and doesn't seem given to hyperbole. 

Which institution? There was quite a lot of criticism of him a few months ago from defence correspondents from mainstream media sources who knew and working in the area that a lot of his threads weren't nearly as profound as many non experts (me included!) thought they were. I still follow him, so do see his tweets but  like much on twitter take it with a pinch of salt.

OP Kalna_kaza 01 Oct 2022
In reply to Murderous_Crow:

> He has already used and drastically depleted his best forces, and is now resorting to a call-up of old men and kids with little if any military experience. They will not be well-trained by the time they enter combat, and will likely surrender or mutiny in many cases. 

There are a lot of videos on twitter from Russian troops complaining about their situation.

In one video a bus load of men have been dropped off at a "staging post" somewhere in Russia. It's a field, with some snow already lying on the ground. No tents, stoves or anything else. The commanders told them to stay put, sleep on the ground and await further orders. The commanders then left.

In another video set in a huge dormitory a colonel is briefing a load of men who have just been drafted. He fails to win hearts and minds by calling them cannon fodder, at which point one of the men punches him to the ground. 

Winter in Ukraine is going to be really sh*t for those conscripts.

 Murderous_Crow 01 Oct 2022
In reply to TobyA:

> like much on twitter take it with a pinch of salt.

Of course. The point remains though - Putin has threatened use of nuclear weapons from the inception of the invasion. He's shown cavalier behaviour towards release of nuclear material in Ukraine in two sustained actions during the conflict. And he's in a very tight corner at home. What options do you think might be available to de-escalate? I'm not sure, these annexations are a dangerous game for him and Russia: I don't think Ukraine as a whole is in the mood to cede any territory at all. So where next?

 Murderous_Crow 01 Oct 2022
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> Winter in Ukraine is going to be really sh*t for those conscripts.

Yes it is.


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