By Paul Goble
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.