Russia no longer has the capacity to organize voluntary mobilization – interview with Russian opposition politician Gudkov

The potential for voluntary mobilization for the war with Ukraine in Russia has already been exhausted. Due to this fact, Kremlin has serious problems finding “cannon fodder”. This opinion was expressed by the Russian opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov on the air of the telethon “Ukraine Speaks” on the TV channels “Dom” and UA.

He noted that recruitment for the war with Ukraine firstly took place only in depressed regions. However, for the past two months, recruitment has started for the entire territory of Russia:

“Nowadays it still works as such, voluntary mobilization. For example, ads are already hanging everywhere simply – in elevators and entrances. Even today that ads are already coming on receipts for utility bills with an offer to serve for money. The money offered is as follows: 250 thousand rubles a month. The average for the country is 4.5 thousand dollars. It must be understood that in depressed regions, salaries may be 300-400 dollars on average. In fact, the annual budget is offered immediately for one month. And if earlier such announcements were only in depressed regions, now they are everywhere. This suggests that the potential of such regions has long been exhausted. But, it seems to me, even the potential of large cities has been exhausted.”

He explained that, in Moscow, residents of the capital are not recruited for the war. However, people from other regions who go there to earn money are recruited:

“As you know, Russia has a private army – PMC “Wagner”. This is Putin’s personal army. They have long been trying to recruit people from among the prisoners. This is no longer voluntary, but such a voluntary-compulsory mobilization. There is a search for mercenaries from different regions, like Syria, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. It got to the point that the government of Uzbekistan has already announced that this is mercenarism and will be prosecuted under the criminal code. This suggests that Putin has serious problems finding “cannon fodder”. And the further, the worse it will be. This means that they will fraudulently send someone or will offer a lot of money,”

Gudkov believes that there will be no open forced mobilization in Russia since there is no real popular support for the war with Ukraine:

“There is no 80-70% or even 50% of support for the war. This is such a game of power with the population when the authorities pretend that they are conducting a “special operation”. Russian population pretends that they believe that the authorities are conducting a “special operation”. So far, the authorities do not touch citizens, while giving them the opportunity to follow from their sofa what is happening somewhere on TV. Nevertheless, as soon as people from the military enlistment office come for you and hand you an order to the army, you understand that this is a one-way ticket.”

The oppositionist talked about the danger of forced mobilization of the population of Russia:

“The support of the population for the war between Russia against Ukraine is low. I don’t think that Putin will dare to mobilize because this mobilization can backfire. The mobilized citizens can turn their hatred against the Putin regime, of which they have long been tired.”

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