Russians Promptly Try To Surrender After Being Mobilized

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Russians subjected to authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin’s mobilization — meaning draft — plans in support of the war in Ukraine are already seeking details of opportunities for personally surrendering to the Ukrainians, per a Ukrainian defense ministry spokesperson.

Putin began the mobilization effort, which reportedly includes no formal limit on the number of troops authorities are assembling per his public draft order, against the backdrop of renewed Ukrainian success on the battlefield. Ukrainian troops retook a central hub for the northern part of the Russian assault on the country’s Donetsk region, the capture of which is among the central aims — on paper — for Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Ukrainian soldiers also pushed forward in the Luhansk and Kherson regions, increasing their rates of fire on Russian positions in both the east and south.

“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 Institute for the Study of War said in a new update. “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.” As for Russians seeking opportunities for surrender, Ukrainian defense ministry spokesman Andrii Yusov explained: “The hotline has received a lot of calls from Russians who were called up recently, and even from some who [haven’t] even been called up yet. They’re calling and asking, ‘What should I do if I get called up? What do I have to do, what’s the right way to surrender?’”

The hotline he referenced was set up by the Ukrainian defense ministry. In Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians have already died and sustained injuries amid attempts by the Ukrainians to remain free of Putin’s brutal subjugation. Russian officials sending hundreds of thousands of additional troops, some of whom might not even have an interest in participating and may undercut operations, seems set to result in more casualties and fatalities. Protests inside Russia have been taking place targeting the mobilization plans, including in Moscow and Dagestan, the latter of which is comprised of a mostly Muslim population where large crowds have gathered in the streets. With the demonstrations have come the arrests, with detained protesters receiving draft notices in custody.

In total, over 2,300 detentions amid protests following the mobilization orders were already recorded. Many Russians are attempting to leave the country, and many already exited, but Russian authorities are also targeting these groups. “Citizens of the Russian Federation who are wishing to leave the country but are subject to enlistment will receive summons at the border with Georgia,” a Russian government-run news agency said, quoting an official in North Ossetia, which is in Russia. The FSB, a Russian government security agency that succeeded the KGB, also sent an armored personnel carrier to that border. Already, over 115,000 Russians are believed to have made it into Georgia since Putin announced his plans. Georgia directly borders the country.