North Caucasians Refusing To Show Up At Military Training Centers To Avoid Being Sent To Ukraine – OpEd


North Caucasian men who have refused to show up at military training centers lest they be sent to fight in Ukraine are now the subject of court cases which provide a clear indication that people in their region are less enthusiastic about going to war than many have assumed.

Often court cases are the only source of this reluctance because the Russian authorities have thrown a blanket of silence over open resistance, something that means that given the slowness with which the courts work, trials now for such violations of Russian law are about events weeks or even months ago. 

At present, for example, a soldier from Kabardino-Balkaria who along with his fellows refused to report to a training site in June is being tried only now, but the numbers of such trials is increasing, a sign that opposition to the war in the region Moscow has relied heavily on for forces is growing.

For documentation of such resistance based on trials, resistance that appears to be growing, see and

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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