NewsRussians in fear: Putin finds a new way to enforce military service

Russians in fear: Putin finds a new way to enforce military service

The Russians are looking for willing people for the army, now they will forcibly draft debtors.
The Russians are looking for willing people for the army, now they will forcibly draft debtors.
Images source: © Telegram
1:33 PM EDT, November 1, 2023

Vladimir Putin and his administration have devised an unusual mechanism to coerce Russian citizens into military service, specifically combat in Ukraine. People in debt have been presented with a stark choice: repay their outstanding loans or face conscription, inevitably leading to frontline deployment. Consequently, they are not only required to repay their debts but also potentially lose their lives for their country.

Russians' reluctance to join the military stems largely from their knowledge of the grueling survival conditions on the Ukrainian front. Consequently, the October recruitment drive didn't garner much success, and the next one isn't slated until March, post Putin's likely re-election as President. So, how will the military's personnel gaps be filled? The authorities have a strategy in place.

Not only have convicts been forced into military service, but immigrants and inhabitants of occupied territories have also been targeted. Other options for mandatory military service are also under consideration. Now, the spotlight is on debtors, who are aplenty in the country. They are left with two options: pay off their mortgages or face conscription, which would inevitably lead to combat in Ukraine.

While Russians are visibly terrified, escaping from military conscription has become increasingly difficult.

The innovative recruitment program is all set to turn debt-ridden individuals into "contracted employees" of the army. This step would fast-track their training, following which they would be shipped off to the front line. However, their insufficient training would make them mere cannon fodder. Their primary role is to wear down the Ukrainian military, even if it amounts to senseless casualties.

Independent media outlets in Russia have reported that data associated with individuals in debt have already been forwarded to the Ministry of National Defense. Debtors can expect to be drafted into the military, and the only way to clear their debts would be on the battlefield. The typical Russian debtor is around the age of 40, college-educated, and employed.

Often, these individuals have families to support. These unfortunate circumstances provide no room for refusal of military service. Any form of resistance could lead to incarceration and deepen their financial troubles.

Russian citizens are massively in debt, and the Ministry of National Defense has offered to freeze loans or provide special mortgage loans. However, these benefits are reserved for those fortunate enough to survive and return from the front, a rather challenging feat. In the third quarter alone, Russian banks sold overdue debts to collection agencies amounting to a record 75 billion rubles (approximately 799 million dollars).

People's fear of enlistment primarily stems from their desire not to die. Yet, draftees are invariably assigned to the front lines, where under-trained, under-equipped soldiers are led by commanders. In May, following months of brutal fighting, the Russians seized Bachmut, implementing this very strategy, only to lose the city almost immediately.

Now, employing a tactic reminiscent of World War II, Russia aims to overcome Ukraine.

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