There is a looooong Russian history of ethnic cleansing. They are a bit subler about it, perhaps, than the USA used to be and certainly subtler than Hitler was. It is a Russian thing to displace by force people from somewhere to somewhere else far of, where some of them might survive and eventually some of their descendants might come back a generation later. In the meantime, the land acquires a significant Russian population. That is one of the reasons why Crimea is “Russian”, and why there are significant Russian minorities in the Baltic states. And Putin now hones this old fine Russian art to its most finest.
It was so even before the “partial” mobilization and even more so now – the people who are most likely to be drafted into the military and sent into the meat grinder are ethnic minorities from Russian colonies.
Yes, you read that right. I wrote colonies. People seem not to realize that while Spain and Portugal were busy colonizing South America, the USA were genociding Indians and everybody else was busy dividing among themselves Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific, and southern Asia, Russia has quietly run their conquest, and colonization in Siberia. Siberia is not Russian territory occupied by Russians. It is a vast landmass occupied by dozens of different nations, both large-ish and small. Some of the smaller nations (some are counting just a few thousand people by now) are supposed to be exempted from military drafts, but the “partial” mobilization is trying to sweep them up even so (there is no such thing as a rule of law in a totalitarian regime ruled by an autocratic despot).
In a sense, Russia and the USA are the only empires that kept hold of most of their ill-gotten territories. In part maybe because their colonies cover a continuous surface of most of a continent, which makes it easier to kill off, displace or keep a hold on the local population – an uprising next door is easier to quell than an uprising half a globe away.
Putin is now not only attempting to expand the empire and to genocide Ukrainians – who are luckily giving him a hard time with it – but he also is doing his best to weaken the other nations in the Russian Federation whilst doing so. It might be just a coincidence, he might just be trying to avoid sending people from around Moscow and St. Petersburg, whom he needs to hold onto power and whose support might be shaken if their relatives start returning home in bags or not at all. But it might be deliberate too. Either way, he is really trying to be efficacious at this genocide stuff, what a chap!
I still don’t get how anyone who thinks of themselves being a leftist can support him though. I thought that leftists are supposed to be for the unlucky, the poor, the dispossessed etc. Supporting an autocrat juggling genocides for fun seems at odds with that.