Patterico's Pontifications

10/6/2022

About Putin’s Mobilization: Two Russians Who Fled Forced Military Service Now Seek Asylum In The U.S.

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:52 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Per Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office, the two men arrived on Tuesday after landing on a beach near a small community of about 600 people on St. Lawrence Island:

[A] spokesperson for [Sen. Lisa] Murkowski, said… that the office has been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service.”

ICE officials are currently holding the two Russian nationals… The individuals were transported to Anchorage for vetting and screening after DHS was alerted of their arrival by local officials.

Putin’s mobilization has caused a mass exodus of Russian men desperate to avoid death sentences conscription. Post-Soviet Central Asia is a go-to for many, especially Kyrgystan:

Since Putin’s announcement of Russia’s first military mobilization since World War II on Sept. 21, hundreds of thousands of Russian men have left the country to avoid being drafted to fight in Ukraine…With airfares skyrocketing, Russian men have been rushing to Russia’s southern border, since they can enter Kazakhstan visa-free with only their internal passports—a mandatory ID issued to all citizens—in hand, sometimes moving farther south to Kyrgyzstan, which has the same policy. That’s a lifeline for the estimated 70 percent of Russian citizens who are not in possession of a passport for international travel.

According to Kazakh officials, more than 100,000 Russian citizens, and possibly as many as 200,000, have crossed over into Kazakhstan since the start of mobilization, many of whom have continued farther south into neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

That is more than Putin’s original invasion force in Ukraine.

I also want to point out a troubling but fascinating piece over at The Bulwark by Natalia Antonova, who writes about the Russian death cult and the role that apathy plays in it:

…I have watched videos of hooded Russians throwing Molotov cocktails at enlistment offices since Vladimir Putin’s bizarre “partial mobilization” began. These people act in stark contrast to the Russians who have meekly sent their sons and husbands off to fight Putin’s illegal, barbaric war. It’s impossible to know the scale of actual resistance within Russia, although it is probably bigger than what we can quantify right now, because much of it is necessarily quiet.

This isn’t to say that I console myself with the myth of a horde of “good Russians” who will soon fix their screwed-up country. The Russian death cult is vast and strong. It will take much more than toppling Putin—or arranging a heart attack for him—to undo decades of repression and learned apathy. This is not my doomerism speaking, it’s just common sense.

When we think of the Russian “death cult,” we usually think of the people actively supporting war, hatred, and international isolation. But passivity—the act of doing nothing—is also an important part of this cult.

Resisting mobilization in Russia is hard, but not impossible. One of the worst potential outcomes, if you don’t get too loudly political in an enlistment center (a good way to wind up being tortured), is a prison term—a not very long one, and you’ll probably get stuck with a lot of like-minded people. The idea of not even trying to resist when the life of a husband and father is on the line is bizarre, but apathy is a heavy blanket, and just like a blanket, it can be a strange comfort. If you can convince yourself that nothing depends on you, then you don’t have to take responsibility.

Finally, Antonova explains why Ukraine can’t stop fighting, even as Putin threatens to use nuclear weapons:

Those who want Ukraine to stop fighting because Putin might use nuclear weapons don’t understand what it’s like to have a murderer’s hand at your throat. Clearly, that’s why Putin wants his threats heard: He is not just blackmailing Ukraine with his arsenal but the entire world, and expects those with less immediately at stake to be easier to persuade. Giving in to this blackmail would be like backing away from the strangler, letting him do what he will.

–Dana

39 Responses to “About Putin’s Mobilization: Two Russians Who Fled Forced Military Service Now Seek Asylum In The U.S.”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. No!

    nk (a99944)

  3. I’ve added a wonderful piece by Nataly Antonova who explains to us how apathy keeps Russia’s death cult pushing onward.

    Dana (1225fc)

  4. I absolutely would promote any asylum claims for these Russians.

    whembly (b770f8)

  5. Parading the exodus of Russians who do not wish to fight or be imprisoned in Russia as a “victory” of sorts ignores the elephant (or in this case, bear) in the room.

    If Putin uses tactical nuclear weapons, the cost for a tit-for-tat or other “measured response” would no doubt be increased beligerence by North Korea and China.

    John B Boddie (517c97)

  6. I wonder if the two Russians saw Sarah Palin’s house.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  7. No!

    nk (a99944) — 10/6/2022 @ 3:57 pm

    I’m gonna need more information.

    Dana (1225fc)

  8. Ha! I was just going to write something about that.
    Gambell AK is 90 miles from the nearest Russian town. Pretty reachable.
    Welcome to America!

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  9. When I read about this, I immediately thought about Palin’s Alaska/Russia comments made to Charlie Gibson.

    Dana (1225fc)

  10. Aside from nk, who has some explaining to do, where does everyone stand on granting or not granting asylum?

    Dana (1225fc)

  11. Wallowing in their morbidity is the defining Russian national trait. They’re like the Japanese that way, but without the Japanese tradition of honor, esthetic values, social cohesion, and personal hygiene.

    nk (a99944)

  12. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, October 5
    ……….
    Increasing domestic critiques of Russia’s “partial mobilization” are likely driving Putin to scapegoat the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and specifically Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Putin deferred mobilization for all students, including part-time and masters students, via a decree on October 5. Putin told Russian outlets that because “the Ministry of Defense did not make timely changes to the legal framework on the list of those who are not subject to mobilization, adjustments have to be made.” That direct critique of the MoD is also an implicit critique of Shoigu, whom Putin appears to be setting up to take the fall for the failures of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. …….

    Putin will likely hold off on firing Shoigu for as long as he feels he can in order to continue to blame Shoigu for ongoing military failures and to build up support among other factions. Shoigu’s replacement will need to take responsibility for failures that occur after his tenure begins. ……

    Russian authorities detained the manager of several milblogger telegram channels on October 5, indicating that the Kremlin is likely setting limits on what criticism is allowed in the domestic Russian information space. …….
    ………..

    Bolding in original. Footnotes omitted.

    Related:

    Russia’s defence minister told to ‘shoot himself’ by Kremlin official

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  13. Why am I the one who has some explaining to do? America is enough of the world’s garbage dump as it is. Let these two traitors and cowards persuade us that their presence here will add value to America and not, as I believe, make America a little bit more like the cesspool they crawled out of.

    nk (a99944)

  14. where does everyone stand on granting or not granting asylum?

    I would grant them asylum, but I wouldn’t send the to Texas or Florida. They might end up in Chicago, New York, or Martha’s Vineyard.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. When I read about this, I immediately thought about Palin’s Alaska/Russia comments made to Charlie Gibson.

    Dana (1225fc) — 10/6/2022 @ 4:48 pm

    Of course, the “and I can see Russia from my house” is from Tina Fey as Sarah in an SNL skit, but it will become Palin’s epitaph.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  16. Thanks, nk. I wanted to understand your why for the “no”.

    Dana (1225fc)

  17. I say we start with the same asylum rules we use for everyone else and go from there. If Russia wants to push away it’s young men we should welcome them, starting with the best educated.

    Time123 (97c3c0)

  18. [A] spokesperson for [Sen. Lisa] Murkowski, said… that the office has been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service.”

    Draft dodgers head to Canada, not the USA.

    Asylum in the U.S.– or Martha’s Vineyard perhaps???? No. Not an American problem. But asylum in Ukraine, sure! Ship’em there– and be restricted from leaving and take up arms against the very Russia they fled and dread.

    DCSCA (e40014)

  19. Russia’s defence minister told to ‘shoot himself’ by Kremlin official

    The Budd Dwyer exit strategy.

    DCSCA (e40014)

  20. What’s wrong with Canada?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  21. If Russia wants to push away it’s young men we should welcome them, starting with the best educated.

    Yeah, we did that with “the best educated” in the Soviet Union Saule Omarova and thirty years later Biden nominated her for Comptroller of the Currency until somebody noticed that a year before her nomination she had proposed the nationalization of all bank accounts.

    nk (a99944)

  22. It’s not 1883, it’s 2022, and the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of the teeming shore, the homeless, and the tempest-tossed have already settled all the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

    nk (a99944)

  23. @20. Are you kidding???

    ‘With all that hockey hullabaloo, and that b-tch Anne Murray, too!’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaXsWQAI2j4

    It’s not even a real country anyway! 😉

    DCSCA (961120)

  24. Seems like the might qualify for political asylum.

    Apathy? Maybe.

    My dad used to say that the russians like someone else to make the decisions and tell them what to do, rather than have to make decisions themselves.

    Personally I wonder if it’s really generational learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is when you are prevented from doing something for so long that it no longer even occurs to you to try, even after the removal of the barrier preventing you.

    Nic (896fdf)

  25. Asylum is a protection grantable to foreign nationals already in the United States or arriving at the border who meet the international law definition of a “refugee.” The United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol define a refugee as a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future “on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980.

    More here.

    nk (a99944)

  26. @10

    Aside from nk, who has some explaining to do, where does everyone stand on granting or not granting asylum?

    Dana (1225fc) — 10/6/2022 @ 4:49 pm

    To be literal cannon fodder in Putin’s army?

    I’d say that’s a strong asylum claim.

    whembly (b770f8)

  27. We really don’t need to be encouraging illegals storming the northern borders, too.

    DCSCA (bef831)

  28. @DCSCA@27 The Bering sea is much too cold and I don’t think the Canadians are coming for us. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  29. So is nun stand on corner in Moscow and young tovarich run up to her and say “Quick, sister, please hide me, Putin police want to draft me and put me in army”.

    So nun say “Khorosho, hide under my habit”. So young tovarich huddles under nun’s long skirt.

    Putin police run by, see only nun, keep running down street still looking for young tovarich. Nun say “Police gone, you can come out now”.

    Young tovarich come out and thank nun profusely. Then he blush and say “Forgive me for say so, sister, but I not expect to see such nice legs on nun”.

    And nun say “If you have looked up, you see something else you not expect to see on a nun. I hide from draft too.”

    nk (a99944)

  30. Lol, nk.

    Dana (1225fc)

  31. I am old enough to remember when americans had to seek asylum from the draft in canada and conservatives thought that was bad that they didn’t want to go fight a meaningless and corrupt un winnable war.

    asset (f0dfa1)

  32. Avoiding the draft is not considered grounds for asylum under customary international asylum law. And they take this position even with regard to Eriitrea, where most men are subject to military service of a kin that amounts to slavery. It seems like numbers is king, and they are grading on a curve. But doing that obviously can’t be right if you mean to get asylum when warranted by considerations of humanity.

    Basically no law with a quota or any maximum number in it is any good.

    Now if you repatriate someone you are enforcing the draft. Which surely the United State s does not mean to do ith Russia.

    They might treat them as surrunderung soldiers.

    Sammy Finkelman (814157)

  33. Canada in the 1960s had an immigration law that allowed anyone who arrived in in Canada to declare himself a “landed immigrant” (there were restrictions on entry but any U.S. citizen could visit)

    No special provision was made for draft dodgers.

    That has changed

    Sammy Finkelman (814157)

  34. Personally I wonder if it’s really generational learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is when you are prevented from doing something for so long that it no longer even occurs to you to try, even after the removal of the barrier preventing you.

    Nic (896fdf) — 10/6/2022 @ 7:05 pm

    Angelo Codevilla addressed that concept in his very interesting book, “The Character of Nations.” The Soviet Union (IIRC) was his example of just that “learned” aspect of social adaptation or habituation.

    ColoComment (323987)

  35. I notice they aren’t fleeing to Ukraine.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  36. Off-topic: Does anyone remember when Democrats lambasted Trump for his hostility to China and tariffs on trade?

    Biden Administration Clamps Down on China’s Access to Chip Technology

    The new limits on the sale of semiconductors and chip-making equipment to China aim to slow Beijing’s military programs that use supercomputing technology.
    The moves are the clearest sign yet that a dangerous standoff between the two major superpowers is increasingly playing out in the technological sphere.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  37. @37 I remember corporate democrats lambasting bernie sanders for opposing free trade because as fang fang deep throat said follow the money. Pelosi wont stop insider trading even with china.

    asset (23f7d1)

  38. I notice they aren’t fleeing to Ukraine.

    ROFLMAOPIP

    Ukraine bans all male citizens ages 18 to 60 from leaving the country

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2022/02/25/russia-invasion-ukraine-bans-male-citizens-leaving/6936471001/

    You notice right: Russians have more ‘freedom’ than Ukrainians. 😉

    DCSCA (2c004a)


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