The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

How Long Will Russians Put Up With This?

The Washington Post is reporting that Russian men are being grabbed off the street and enlisted into the military.

Police and military officers swooped down on a Moscow business center this past week unannounced. They were looking for men to fight in Ukraine — and they seized nearly every one they saw. Some musicians, rehearsing. A courier there to deliver a parcel. A man from a Moscow service agency, very drunk, in his mid-50s, with a walking disability.

“I have no idea why they took him,” said Alexei, who, like dozens of others in the office complex, was rounded up and taken to the nearest military enlistment office, part of a harsh new phase in the Russian drive.

In cities and towns across Russia, men of fighting age are going into hiding to avoid the officials who are seizing them and sending them to fight in Ukraine.

Police and military press-gangs in recent days have snatched men off the streets and outside Metro stations. They’ve lurked in apartment building lobbies to hand out military summonses. They’ve raided office blocks and hostels. They’ve invaded cafes and restaurants, blocking the exits.

I want to know if the bobbleheads on Fox and OAN and whatever who love Vladimir Putin are mentioning this. The Brits stopped using press gangs at least a couple of centuries ago.

Suffering massive military casualties and repeated defeats in Ukraine, Russia has begun cannibalizing its male population. The hard-eyed pundits on state television are demanding more Ukrainian blood and more sacrifice from Russian men who they say have grown too used to soft living.

I’m assuming those hard-eyed pundits aren’t exactly living in caves and hunting their own meat.

Antiwar sentiment could harden as the bodies of soldiers who were deployed just weeks earlier begin returning home for burial. Alexei Martynov, the 29-year-old head of a Moscow government department, was mobilized Sept. 23 and was killed Oct. 10. He was buried last week. Five soldiers from the Southern Urals region, mobilized on Sept. 26 and Sept. 29, were killed in Ukraine in early October, authorities in Chelyabinsk reported.

So they grabbed Alexei Martynov on September 23 and he was KIA on October 10, only 18 days later. They really aren’t bothering to train them. are they?

And then this happened:

MOSCOW—Two recruits opened fire at a Russian military training ground near the border with Ukraine on Saturday, leaving 11 people dead and 15 injured, the state news agency TASS reported. 

The shootings happened during a live-fire training exercise in the Belgorod region. The assailants opened fire with small arms before they in turn were fatally shot, the report said, citing the Russia’s Ministry of Defense. 

TASS quoted ministry officials as calling the incident a terrorist attack and said the two gunmen were volunteers and citizens of a country from the Commonwealth of Independent States, a grouping of former Soviet republics. The report didn’t specify which country the men came from and whether they were included in the toll of 11 dead. 

Yeah, I bet those guys “volunteered” the same way men were “volunteering” in Moscow.

We see also that the Russians are not good at public relations.

Conductor Yuriy Kerpatenko declined to take part in a concert “intended by the occupiers to demonstrate the so-called ‘improvement of peaceful life’ in Kherson”, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.

The concert on 1 October was intended to feature the Gileya chamber orchestra, of which Kerpatenko was the principal conductor, but he “categorically refused to cooperate with the occupants”, the statement said.

So, the Russians entered the conductor’s home and shot him dead, which is now in the news around the world. Like I said; they don’t grasp how PR works.

There are a lot of analyses saying that Russia’s recent escalation is more desperate than calculated. It’s all they’ve got. See:

Russia’s airstrikes, intended to show force, reveal another weakness

How Putin’s Latest Attempts to Escalate in Ukraine Have Backfired

Russia’s escalation won’t turn tide of the war, experts say

Unfortunately, now we’re seeing that Iran is sending missiles and drones to Russia, which probably won’t do anything but keep this horror show going on longer.