Niki’s here again, with a word or two about the conscription blitz that recently went down in Russia, and the lengths men between the ages of 18 and 55 (or is it 60 now?) went (and are still going to?) in order to evade it:
…as well as what the Russian army is doing to try to circumvent those evasive tactics. They’re now just handing call-up letters out like candy to random men who look the right age and are apparently able-bodied enough to go into the army. It’s bonkers.
The last time I heard of anything this crazy going on, it was my German relatives discussing how the war was going in 1944 or thereabouts (badly, of course, for Germany, but you couldn’t reason with You Know Who.) Towards the end of the war, the Nazis were shoving guns literally into the hands of children, or older men not fit to fight anymore, to fend off the Allies. An uncle by marriage told me of how his older brother, who was 14 at the time, had to be hidden under the attic floorboards so that when the soldiers came for him, his parents could lie and say that he’d already gone with an earlier troop. But while they waited for those bastards to come and go, they brought him soup to eat and a pot to do his business in, and then hurriedly hid him again in that space too small even for crawling around in. And that was how they saved his life…by burying him temporarily.
And now it’s happening in Russia…the country that, back in the middle of the Soviet era, clobbered Nazi Germany with sheer brute force, the kind that could only be achieved by throwing literally everything (and everyone) you had at the other side. The ironies just keep multiplying, even as the number of warm and willing bodies is dwindling.
It’s worth saying, at this point, that Ukraine is not Nazi Germany. Yes, it has a real and serious problem with Nazis (hello, Azov Battalion!), but that’s a problem that Ukraine alone must deal with. It’s Zelensky’s problem, not Putin’s. The Nazis in Ukraine are a lame pretext for the truly fascistic despot in Moscow, the one who either doesn’t realize or just doesn’t care that he’s doing exactly what Russia’s old, OG fascist wartime enemy would have done, from the opposite direction. Namely, expanding national territory beyond the nation’s borders. (And he’s doing it with his own fascistic symbols and slogans, and even an entire line of “philosophy”, too. Oh, the ironies.)
Zelensky could, of course, neutralize that problem by disbanding the Azov, but ironically, that’s the Ukrainian line of defence for the regions Russia is trying to claim. It’s an intolerable and untenable situation, particularly for a Jewish head of state. But it’s where he happens to find himself, and ol’ Pooty-poot no doubt saw it as advantageous for Russia.
It’s weird to see real fascists fighting off the advances of a bunch of reluctant conscripts of a fascist leader (and would-be czar), but these are the weird times we’re living in.