Russian efforts to draft Ukrainians to fight against their own country in the ongoing invasion could increase the risk of desertion, defection and even “rebellion”, a report said. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Russia was preparing a draft law that would legalize Ukrainians living in Russian-occupied territories.
The law will legalize the conscription of Ukrainians who meet this criteria from the spring of 2023. Newsweek reported that if Russia were to draft Ukrainians living in the occupied territories, some of which have been declared “annexed”, it would face strong resistance.
Henry Hale, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, told Newsweek that while Ukrainians have accepted Russian passports, the number of pro-Russian ones is small.
“From that point of view, I would not expect these people to be happy at all about being recruited, much less actually being sent to fight with other Ukrainians. We have seen considerable resistance in Russia itself…. I feel [Ukrainians] Will be even more likely not to obey orders, to line up,” said Henry Hale.
“I think that by trying to bring in people like that, if they end up doing it, you’re going to increase the risk of defection, mutiny, abandonment. So in the end, you end up with an already quite demoralized and fragile business force. undermining,” Henry Hale said.
In May this year, Vladimir Putin signed a decree that simplified the process for Ukrainians living in the occupied territories to obtain Russian citizenship by obtaining a Russian passport.