Vladimir Putin mobilizes new troops. Millions of Russian reservists now fear whether they will have to go to war. Actually, it should only hit reservists with combat experience. But there aren’t many of them left in Russia. Most of them are already fighting in Ukraine. So everyone is in danger.
Just like Alexander. The 33-year-old spoke to the British “Guardian” about the news that overtook him and the world yesterday. His wife called him at the office on Wednesday and told him, “They can come get you.” But Alexander doesn’t think he, who served in the army 15 years ago, is high on the list. And if so? “I would rather leave the country than fight in this war,” he says. “If they draft me, I would leave the country.”
Apparently, many Russians think like Alexander. After Putin’s announcement, ticket prices for flights to Turkey and other countries skyrocketed. But there is a problem: according to the law, reservists are no longer allowed to leave the country. Detained in Russia pending draft. Russia has not yet closed the borders. But that could be a next step. In addition, several European countries have already closed their borders.
The war finally arrives in the Russian families. The Guardian quotes the mother of a reservist: “It’s the one thing everyone was afraid of when the war started.”
And a youth organization writes on Instagram: “The war is no longer just ‘out there’. He really comes to our house. Thousands of Russian men – our fathers, brothers and husbands – are thrown into the meat grinder.”
But of course there are counterexamples. A reservist tells the British newspaper he sees it as a patriotic duty to join the army when called to arms. “I want to be there for my country,” he says. Alexander, on the other hand, does not want to die for Russia. “This war is much more dangerous than they say. What else did they need the draft for?”