Will Russia Start a Special Military Draft?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started in the early hours of February 24.

That’s more than a month ago, and since then, the invasion has gone very badly for Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his troops.

Upwards of 17,000 Russian troops have died. The United States and NATO have flooded Ukraine with weapons and missile systems to fight back against Moscow’s aggression.

Now, fears are growing that Russia is going to start drafting thousands of Russian teens and sending them to Ukraine to fight.

In fact, it looks like it’s already starting to happen.

Russia’s Spring Draft

Every year, Russia has a military draft to get its population trained up.

This happens every year, starting at this same time, and includes a year of required military service. This year, the standard 134,500 young men have been called up for training and service.

They will now enter basic training and become prepped to bear arms on behalf of their country. However, Russia’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, has promised that none of the new recruits will be sent to fight or to dangerous war zone areas.

Here’s the problem: we already know that he’s lying.

Young drafted soldiers have already been identified among many of those fighting on the frontlines in Ukraine. Many were even told they were just going on a training mission until the bullets started flying and their fellow soldiers started getting hit.

This is far from the first time Russia spent the lives of poorly-trained, young recruits in its imperialistic missions, either. In the 1990s, Moscow waged a genocidal campaign in Chechnya using thousands of barely-trained teenage boys as cannon fodder.

Remember only a few months ago when Putin’s Foreign Minister Lavrov said Russia wouldn’t invade Ukraine? We all see how that turned out. These people are stone-cold liars and war criminals.

Russia’s Draft Rules

Russia’s already-existing draft rules are simple: if you are between 18 to 27-years-old, you need to go into the military for a year. However, like in many countries with a draft, there are ways around it.

If you’re studying or have a health problem, you don’t have to complete the service. This is an especially common thing to do to get around the draft for young guys from the big urban centers like Moscow and St. Petersburg.

As in most countries, the bulk of Russia’s patriotic and military recruits come from the smaller towns and cities outside of the liberal urban capitals.

These are the poorer kids without as many opportunities, from religious families and small towns who believe in an idealized version of Russia.

These are the young men who don’t yet know just how slimy and dishonest their own government is. These are the young guys who believed they were just training right up until the moment on February 24 when they started getting killed.