“Paid” mobilization, when Russians, primarily residents of small settlements, voluntarily agree to fight against Ukraine for a lot of money, is gradually running out of steam. Therefore, the authorities increasingly have to back it up with coercion. This was stated by Russian oppositionist Gennady Gudkov live on the FREEDOM TV channel.
“People don’t even want to go for money anymore. Therefore, paid voluntary mobilization is supported and reinforced by forced-voluntary mobilization. It cannot be said that it is completely forced, because people are still paid allowances and salaries, and are promised benefits and insurance in case of death or injury. But in general, an element of intimidation, strict restrictive measures, and the threat of a criminal investigation are used,” comments the guest of the broadcast.
He recalled: it is already known that in Russia there are about 5 thousand army deserters facing criminal or administrative charges. This is a significant number, which to a certain extent illustrates public sentiment.
“They are trying to extinguish them with harsh repression. The longest sentence that a soldier who refused to fight and go to the front has now received is 13 years. And terms of five to seven years are no longer a rarity. Therefore, paid mercenaries, killers on the go, are more and more, more and more widely complemented by the practice of forced-voluntary mobilization. That is, you seem to be voluntarily, but under such pressure that it’s as if they took a recruit into the army,” says the Russian oppositionist.
According to Gudkov, there is no purely forced mobilization in Russia yet. However, he stressed that all conditions have been created for it. The guest of the broadcast also recalled that the so-called “partial” mobilization announced last year in the Russian Federation did not stop. So far, only people with criminal records are insured against it, despite the fact that prisoners from colonies are recruited for the war.
“Criminal record certificates are becoming expensive, people are starting to buy them,” Gudkov said.
Also, according to him, conscripts in their first year of service are still insured.
“I think Putin’s rating is falling and the level of support for the war is falling. Therefore, apparently, very shortly they will go… If voluntary-compulsory [mobilization] is now underway, then I think, there will be forced-voluntary or even completely forced,” suggested Gennady Gudkov.
Let us recall that, according to the Russian opposition journalist, former deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Igor Yakovenko, the protests of the wives of the mobilized have become a serious problem for the Russian authorities, although they are not anti-war. The Kremlin cannot counter protests with the usual methods – batons, beatings and detentions, because this could provoke military riots.