If Putin’s Mobilization Expands Half Of Russians With Advanced Degrees Might Be Called Up – OpEd


In a sign that few Russians believe Putin’s mobilization order will stop at 300,000, many scholars are expressing concern that if it expands, as many as half of all the holders of advanced degrees in that country could be subject to a call up, an outcome that if it occurs would destroy the Russian educational and research establishments.

That number is based on official figures which show that there are now 470,000 Russians with kandidat degrees and 70,000 with doctorates. Of the total of 540,000, 270,000 are male and in age cohorts subject to mobilization (newizv.ru/article/general/04-10-2022/eksperty-mobilizatsiya-uchenyh-dobiet-rossiyskie-nauku-i-obrazovanie). 

Debates are now intensifying as to whether some categories of these highly trained specialists should be exempt from mobilization especially since what has taken place so far suggests that any who are will not be used in their specialties but will be sent directly to the front where many of them may be lost.

Some analysts say that all should be exempted from mobilization lest their being pulled out of their jobs harm Russia’s future, but others are worried that if that happens, there will be anger among other less privileged groups. At the same time, those who favor exempting only part of this group believe that would spar equally dangerous splits among this part of the elite.

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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