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Thu
24
Mar

Fearing front-line deployment, some Russians resist conscription

Several young Russians have fled the country, fearing that they would be sent to the front line as conscripts [File: Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP]

As rumours of martial law spread across Russia in early March, some young men abruptly left their homeland, fearing they would be conscripted and sent to the battlefield in Ukraine.
They are among thousands of people who have fled Russia since February 24, as a crackdown grows on anti-war sentiment.

Ivan*, 17, flew to Turkey on Monday from Russia.

“I don’t think it’s normal that in the 21st century, a person can be taken against their will to serve in the army for an entire year. Right now conscripts are being sent to the front line, and I am categorically against the ‘military operation’ carried out by my country,” he told Al Jazeera, ironically using the state-approved terminology for the war.

After initially insisting that only professional soldiers were fighting in Ukraine, Russia’s defence ministry has since admitted conscripts have been deployed, with some captured or killed.

Sat
12
Mar

Military Conscription Is a Crime Against Humanity

A young Russian conscript receives a military uniform ahead of departing for service in November 2021. (Kirill Kukhmar / TASS

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a reminder that military conscription remains foundational to modern warfare. It is a reckless, self-defeating, and criminal practice that makes us all less safe — and it should have been abolished long ago.

Jonah Walters | Jacobin | The shocking and massively destructive Russian assault on Ukraine, still ongoing at the time of this writing, is conducted by a military that includes an estimated 260,000 conscripted soldiers in its ranks.

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