Just not the way the republiclowns wanted.
Here’s a news story most western media have failed to cover: Ukraine’s government is offering money and asylum to Russian soldiers who surrender. It sounds expensive, but think about it: nobody gets hurt, and the Russian army gets weaker.
Ukraine offers amnesty and money to Russian soldiers who lay down their weapons
Ukraine will give amnesty and money to Russian soldiers who lay down their weapons, the defense ministry said on Monday as Kyiv ramps up efforts to end Moscow’s assault on its territory.
“We offer Russian soldiers a choice: to die in an unjust war or full amnesty and 5 million rubles [$47,293] in compensation, if they lay down their arms and surrender voluntarily,” Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov said on Twitter.
It’s genius. It’s non-violent, it reduces the enemy forces, and it’s the most demoralizing thing you can say to them: “If you keep fighting, you’re suckers.” Even at the lousy exchange rate of the ruble, US$47,000 in Ukraine would last for years. Ukraine’s per capita income is US$3,740.
As Beau of the Fifth Column notes, most Russian soldiers are conscripts, including dissidents and (only alluded to) LGBTQIA people forced in to “make a man out of you”. Ukraine’s views on LGBTQIA rights aren’t perfect, but they’re leagues ahead of Russia’s and would likely change when EU membership requires it.
I am Sure Zelenskyy has many minor personal flaws and probably even some big ones, but he has proven to be a very charismatic and clever leader in a crisis. If Putin manages to assassinate him now, all he achieves is to create a martyr.
I hope Putin does not manage to assassinate him even so.
In an interview with CNN he stated that his prior statements that there is no imminent threat of invasion were just a facade, they were covertly preparing for the invasion the whole time. Putin thought that Zelensky swallowed his “just exercises” ruse and thought he catches him with his pants down, and it was the other way around instead. If the size of the military forces were not so mismatched, and if Belarus did not allow invasion forces to enter Ukraine from its territory, Russians would be nowhere near Kiyv.
this is interesting, and I imagine the offer is made much more appealing combined with the sanctions and general economic state of non-wealthy Russians.
my main concern is if it’s an honest, good-faith offer, and if it will be honored. Hell, as a person living in the California San Francisco Bay Area, that strikes me as a fairly tempting offer if I were in a similar situation. But, if it were scaled to U.S. levels, I’d be highly skeptical and just suspect it to be a scam or similar.
Assuming it is true, and honest, it does seem pretty brilliant.
John Morales says
Back in the USSR, retreating without orders was subject to, um, penalties.
But hey, perhaps they’re more enlightened now they’re just Russia.
I have not listened to Beau’s monologue but I do enjoy his talks and will get to it.
However he seems to be repeating a common misconception As Beau of the Fifth Column notes, most Russian soldiers are conscripts,
I was looking this up yesterday and, as of 2020, the Russian army was 2/3 “Contract” ,which I assume means “regular”, and 1/3 conscript. Apparently some time in the earlier part of this century, I forget exactly when, maybe around 2010, the decision was made to to go with a much more with a professional army.
The Russian General Staff has even claimed that there are no conscripts in Ukraine which may be possible. I can see a lot of reasons why they would not want conscripts there.
John Morales says
I wouldn’t believe a word the Russian General Staff says, but from a quick check I think you’re right about the proportion of conscripts overall.
Mind you, Russian troopers aren’t paid very much at all, and conscripts least of all.
@ John Morales
I wouldn’t believe a word the Russian General Staff says
Well, I’d probably believe them as much as I would believe the US Chiefs of Staff :).
I tend to think it is likely true because it makes sense not to send in a bunch of bumbling amateurs if you want a quick result with a minimum of civilian casualties and as little infrastructure damage as possible which is what the Russians seem to be aiming for.
Any idea what a Russian contract soldier gets paid? I never even thought to look.
Accrording to the first link, the average wage in Russia for 2021 was around 50,000 rubles. Prior to the invasion, 60Rub=US$1, so about US$840/month.
This second link says contract soldiers get 62,000 per month, but conscripts get only 3,000. They are also subjected to hazing, abuse, unpleasant duties or assignments (e.g. Siberia). Who could blame them for running away?