Vladimir Putin is recruiting men for his Ukraine war. Not only in Russia is there fear. Because soon it could also hit Ukrainians. After a possible annexation of the occupied territories, the residents are supposed to fight for Putin’s army.
After the end of the sham referendums, Vladimir Putin will presumably publicly announce the annexation of the four Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Cherson on Friday. From a Russian point of view, the timing plays a role here.
Because on October 1st the usual autumn conscription of the army begins in Russia. And with that, starting Saturday, Putin could also force Ukrainian civilians in the occupied territories to fight. “That could have been a motivation to hold the referendums right now,” write the experts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
However, this creates a problem for Putin. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, only men who already have combat experience in the Russian army are being mobilized. “This is likely to apply to very few residents of the occupied territories,” according to the ISW analysis.
However, even in Russia, reports were mounting that all possible forces were being called up, not just men with combat experience. From the outset, experts had doubted that there were still enough reservists with operational experience in Russia. After all, most of them have been fighting in Ukraine for a long time.
Nevertheless: after an annexation, the inhabitants of the areas are considered Russians according to Putin’s logic. All Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 27 would then be eligible for conscription. This has long since happened in areas that have already been annexed. Recently, the Russian-installed governor of the Crimean city of Sevastopol said that the Russian authorities had already called up 2,000 men from the region for the war.
According to “ISW”, Russian authorities have long since laid the foundations. According to a Ukrainian military advisor, men under the age of 35 are already prevented from leaving the region in the occupied Kherson region. The Ukrainian mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol recently said that the Kremlin had ordered a volunteer battalion of 3,000 members to be set up by October 10.
The head of Ukraine’s military administration in the Lukansk region announced on Monday that the Russian occupiers in the town of Svatove had distributed draft notices to all the men in the area. The same should also happen with Ukrainian men in the entire region.