Russia's Vladimir Putin drafting occupied Ukrainians, may fuel ‘mutiny’: Report

Updated on Nov 19, 2022 05:09 PM IST

Russia-Ukraine War: The law would legalize drafting Ukrainians who meet this criteria from the spring of 2023.

Russia-Ukraine War: Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen.(AFP)
Russia-Ukraine War: Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen.(AFP)

Russian efforts to draft Ukrainians to fight against their own country in the ongoing invasion could raise risks of desertions, defections and even "mutiny," a report said. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that Russia was preparing a draft law that would legalize conscripting Ukrainians who live in Russian-occupied territories.

Read more: War will be over by…: Ukraine's deputy defence minister predicts

The law would legalize drafting Ukrainians who meet this criteria from the spring of 2023. Newsweek reported that if Russia carries out a draft of Ukrainians living in occupied territories, some of which have been declared as "annexed", it would face strong resistance.

Henry Hale, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, told Newsweek that Ukrainians have accepted Russian passports but there are a very "small minority" of those who are pro-Russian.

Read more: Russian soldier flees Vladimir Putin's army, wants to testify: ‘Never thought…’

“From that perspective, I would not expect these people to be happy at all about being conscripted, much less about actually being sent to fight other Ukrainians. We've seen a lot of resistance in Russia itself....I think [Ukrainians] would be even more unlikely to obey orders, fall in line,” Henry Hale said.

“I do think that by trying to bring in such people if that's what they ultimately do, you're going to raise the risks of defection, mutiny, desertion. So ultimately, you're weakening an already pretty demoralized and fragile occupation force,” Henry Hale added.

Read more: Russia's ominous missile move sparks fears Vladimir Putin may use nukes: Report

In May this year, Vladimir Putin signed a decree that simplified the process for Ukrainians living in occupied territories to receive Russian citizenship via obtaining Russian passports.

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