New Russian Recruits Creating Problems Even Before They’re Sent To Ukraine – OpEd


It is no common ground that the latest batch of Russian recruits often sent to Ukraine will little or no training commit atrocities and otherwise behave badly once they are in that neighboring country. But Russians who live near their assembly sites say they were bad news long before they crossed the border.

Residents of two of these villages, Mulino in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and Totskoye-2 in Orenburg Oblast, tell the Holod news agency that these “soldiers” regularly appear drunk in the streets, insult local women, and leave behind “mountains of trash,” an indication of their qualities before being shipped out (

Soldiers often misbehave under the stress and shock of battle, but what this reportage shows is that Russian officials were in a position to know and may have even encouraged bad behavior in these new recruits and thus bear additional responsibility for any crimes the soldiers commit in Ukraine.

And at the same time, these reports suggest that the rot within the Russian military is far more deeply embedded than even Ukrainian victims and observers have said, that it is endemic to Russian military culture, and that rooting it out is going to take more than just the defeat of the Russian army in the field.

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] .

One thought on “New Russian Recruits Creating Problems Even Before They’re Sent To Ukraine – OpEd

  • September 18, 2022 at 2:07 am

    As a military man it is difficult to believe such reports which appears to be exagerated by the Western media of the Russian soldiers.However,if true are totally shameful for any Army! What have the Russian officers been doing to ensure discipline as Putin claims the Ukrainians are their own slav brethern?Are the soldiers so fool hardy that they are not scared of being shot in the streets by the Ukrainian soldiers who are fighting bravely, who will not tolerate such actions and will shoot at sight.Is it so in the Russian military culture???


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