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Russia Launches Stealth Mobilization

By: Andrew Lou

Four Russian war veterans in Ukraine published videos online complaining about being neglected after returning to the Russian region of Chechnya six weeks after the battle.

One of the veterans claimed that a promised payment of nearly $2,000 was denied. Another one of the soldiers said that a local hospital refused to remove shrapnel lodged in his body.

Publicizing their complaints did not help them. “Instead, an aide to Ramzan Kadyrov, the autocrat who runs Chechnya, berated them on television as ingrates and forced them to say that they were paid much more than they promised, said Nikolai Lipa, the young Russian who had claimed that he had been cheated.”

“The Russian officials want to stamp out any criticism about military service in Ukraine. They need more soldiers and are already using what some analysts call a “stealth mobilization” to bring in recruits without resorting to a politically risky national draft.” Stealth mobilization is basically “hiring” people around the nation to join the army.

“Russia has a problem with recruitment and mobilization,” said Kamil Gallev, an independent Russian analyst and former fellow at The Wilson Center in Washington. “It is desperate to get more men using any means possible."

The numbers of dead and wounded are held secret on both sides. The British military recently estimated the number of dead Russian soldiers are at about 25,000, with tens of thousands more wounded in combat out of an invasion force of 300,000, which is including support units.

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