(NewsGlobal.com)- Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree calling for a partial mobilization of “reservists” to fight in Ukraine.
All Russian men ages 18-27 are required to serve in the military for one year. About 300,000 are expected to be mobilized to join the fight in Ukraine.
In response to Putin’s decree, thousands of military-age Russian men, hoping to avoid conscription, began fleeing the country, with Russian state media reporting that flights out of the country quickly sold out.
With Russia’s borders with Europe completely sealed off, Russians began fleeing to Georgia, Kazakhstan, and even Mongolia to escape conscription.
Meanwhile, the same day as Putin’s decree, the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, approved a bill that imposes harsher punishments for desertion, damage to military property, looting, defection, and insubordination when committed during a military mobilization or combat situation.
The Duma-approved bill replaced the phrase “during armed conflicts or military actions” with the broader phrase “in the period of mobilization or the state of martial law, as well as during wartime or while armed conflict and combat activities are underway.”
In a recent column at 19FortyFive.com, Pusan National University professor of international relations, Dr. Robert E. Kelly, discusses the wisdom of Putin’s decision to send an additional 300,000 mostly untrained soldiers to Ukraine.
Kelly writes that Putin is gambling that he could still win or at least maintain the occupied territories in eastern and southern Ukraine. However, Putin’s gamble relies heavily on variables that are outside of his control.
Kelly also notes that sending 300,000 soldiers who lack training is a “defensive move” and it would be impossible for Moscow to launch any kind of offensive. This would likely result in the war dragging on well into the winter.
Read Kelly’s column HERE.