Moscow Orders Russians To War But Protects Its Own Residents – OpEd


Since Vladimir Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the media has been filled with stories showing that people from the regions and republics, largely because of poverty or political pressure, have been sent to war and die in disproportionate numbers.

Indeed, there has been a veritable cottage industry of coverage about how the war is hitting smaller communities far harder than it is hitting large ones, including the ethnic Russians. But new statistics show that those who live in Moscow are far less likely to fight and die in Ukraine than others.

According to, which has compiled a list of combat losses, more than 31,000 people from Russia have died in Ukraine; but only 120 of the names on the list are from the city of Moscow (

Figures for other, much smaller Russian cities are much larger. Arkhangelsk, for example, has 247 combat deaths listed. If Moscow were equally well represented on that listing, it would nearly 3,000 dead. That it doesn’t is just one more indication that the war being fought for Moscow is being paid for by the rest of Russia.

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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