They come from the Siberian region of Irkutsk, they are in their thirties, but they don’t want to go to war under Vladimir Putin. The editors of iROZHLAS.cz contacted three men by phone: Igor, Alexander and Josif.
Due to the partial mobilization announced by the Russian president on Wednesday, they are considering whether to flee the country, but not everyone has that option. For security reasons, they appear under pseudonyms, the iROZHLAS.cz server editors know their identities.
“I have already bought a ticket and will leave Russia in a few days,” Igor confides to the iROZHLAS.cz server over the phone. He adds that there are hardly enough “contract soldiers” in Russia.
“That’s why this mobilization came about. We decided that it is necessary to leave the country, I am not going to participate in something like that.”
His support is the dysfunctional bureaucratic apparatus in Russia. Igor believes that it will not be difficult to avoid conscription. “For example, it is enough to live somewhere other than the place of permanent residence. Of course, it may have some adverse consequences, but if you don’t want to fight, no one will force you to. I myself have decided to leave the country, and now we’ll see if everything works out,” says Igor.
He says that he is not a pacifist, but he will not go to war. “Fighting for a state that tortures my friends in prisons makes no sense to me,” he explains.
When asked how far he is willing to go to avoid conscription, he replies that he will leave the country. “For myself, I find it most acceptable to find myself in the territory of another state. This is the best alternative for me in connection with mobilization. What’s more, even if I were forced into the army, I would not be willing to fight on the side of Russia.’
He asks himself what he should fight for. “For Putin, for MPs and their yachts? Should I volunteer for slaughter? When the situation has gone this far, I see no other option than guerrilla resistance. Either you fall at the front or you rot in a criminal house – they didn’t give us another choice.”
He is not yet thinking about harming himself to avoid military service.
“Of course, the possibility of leaving the country in this situation occurs to everyone, but at the moment it is unlikely that such a thing could happen. If I somehow want to avoid mobilisation, I would probably have to leave my job and permanent residence and think about what to do next – what benefit can I bring to the entire anti-war movement?”
He is ineligible for military service, but says he has yet to properly verify that. Going to war for Putin is unthinkable for him. But he is afraid of general mobilization.
“It’s a horrible idea. I’m a country man, even though I’m in the city right now. In our village, mobilization is running at full speed. They are taking fathers away from families to the war, depriving workplaces of employees – and that will be a big problem for various companies,” he told the iROZHLAS.cz server.
However, he has no idea what he will do. It is not possible for him to flee the country due to the great distance from the borders.
“I am 500, or 1,000 kilometers from the borders with countries that could come into consideration. In addition, there are huge queues for tickets and air tickets. So there is no choice but to hide or voluntarily submit to the mobilization,” he points out.
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