What ordinary Russians are saying about mobilisation

Russia has announced a ‘partial’ mobilization, dragging 300,000 civilians into the war against Ukraine that nobody needs.

Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦
4 min readSep 22, 2022

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Photo by Lerone Pieters on Unsplash

Yesterday, I woke up in my London apartment to learn that my country has announced a “partial mobilisation” in a war against a neighbouring country. Unlike seven months ago, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. But just like in the early morning of February 24th, when this war started, I felt hopeless, powerless, both deeply sad and utterly terrified. Maybe even more so.

It should be evident to everyone that this mobilisation is not partial.

Kremlin has a long history of giving vague terms to the public that they can later manipulate. But even if the words were concrete, that wouldn’t change a thing: Kremlin also has a long history of changing the law (and Constitution) to their wants and needs. If you look at the mobilisation decree, which is publicly available, you’ll see that there’s not a hint about this mobilisation being partial. Anyone can be drafted in this war.

The word partial should be substituted for a more accurate — gradual.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll see Russians receiving notices from all over the country. Men over 18 wouldn’t be allowed to leave the country. And soon, every family — because 300,000 soldiers that the Kremlin plans to recruit is a pretty steep number even for Russia’s 145M population — will have a story of someone they know leaving for Ukraine, some dying there.

I asked ordinary Russians what they think about mobilisation.

Here’s what they told me.

Certain names were amended for privacy reasons and quotes were edited for brevity and clarity.

I think this is the end of the regime. The regime will not survive the mobilization, the only question is whether WE will survive it.

Anton Lysin, 22, Moscow— freelancer.

What happened is what I have been waiting for for the last five years: the fall of Putin.

Misha Suvorov, 23, Moscow— an aspiring politician.

I think this [mobilization] brings the end of the…

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Sergey Faldin 🇺🇦

Honest thoughts. Unpopular opinions. Not necessarily true or smart. | The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Meduza | muckrack.com/sfaldin | Subscribe: sergeys.substack.com