ISSN 2330-717X

Marauding Russian Troops In Ukraine Greater Threat To Russia’s Future Than Were Afganstsy Or Chechen War Veterans – OpEd


The horrific scenes coming out of Bucha, Irpen and other Ukrainian cities “not only make Putin a war criminal” but “show ‘the quality’ of the Russian army,” one so indisciplined and prone to criminal actions that it will be a serious threat to Russia itself once its million members return home, Vladislav Inozemtsev says.


The behavior of the Russian forces is not that surprising in one sense, the Russian commentator says. After all, it was sent to fight by an organized criminal group, the Putin regime, and “if one such group steals, why shouldn’t another specialize in murders?” ( and

But in thinking about the future, it should be obvious that the several tens of thousands of Russian rulers will simply flee if and when Russia is defeated, but the million veterans of the Ukrainian war won’t leave and what they did there will bleed back into Russian society in horrific ways.

Consequently, “even if Putin meets his next birthday in the Hague or doesn’t live that long – and the chances of both these scenarios are growing today with unimaginable speed – the rapists, murderers and marauders will be returning to society and will significantly change its nature,” Inozemtsev says.

The veterans of Afghanistan and Chechnya were not as dangerous for Russia society not only because they were fewer and came back gradually rather than as is likely now more or less all at once but also because the social rules of the game were better and exercised a greater influence on the behavior of veterans, he continues.

“During World War II, the inhuman German commanders understood that the organization of mass murders must not be a task for regular armed services but instead should be assigned to the SS.”  But for today’s “’effective managers’” in Moscow that is too sophisticated a concept.


“And this means,” Inozemtsev concludes, “that even after the departure of Putin, the country will have to deal with the criminalization of society that he sponsored over several decades” and one “in comparison to which, the ‘accursed’ 1990s, will appear a model of gentlemanly behavior and decency.”

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] .

2 thoughts on “Marauding Russian Troops In Ukraine Greater Threat To Russia’s Future Than Were Afganstsy Or Chechen War Veterans – OpEd

  • April 12, 2022 at 5:05 am

    That is a great piece of insightful commentary. Thank you.

  • April 12, 2022 at 6:11 am

    Thanks Paul Goble. Sadly the likely outcome. The most DISHEARTENING situation (Genocide & Warcrimes) about which Europe & United States remain unwilling & unnerved. We are ALREADY in a threatened Nuclear War.


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