In conversation with Greg Yudin, Guzel Yusupova and Nadja Douglas
The recently declared mobilisation means that broad segments of the Russian population will be directly affected by the war. However, the effects of mobilisation are not evenly distributed. There are more and more reports that small ethnic groups in peripheral Russian republics are being disproportionately conscripted. We discuss how conscription is organised, how the current recruitment measures fit into the broader picture of civil-military relations in Russia, and how existing inequalities (social, ethnic and regional) play out on the ground. Reactions to the mobilisation are also varied, the most visible one being the ‘voting with their feet’ of potential recruits fleeing to neighbouring countries. By looking at some concrete developments, we want to approach the big question – could the mobilisation prompt those who have so far watched in silent detachment, or even supported the regime, to turn against it?