Social Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

If you were one of the 300,000 Russian reserve soldiers Putin is calling up to try and subjugate Ukraine, would you go gladly to fight for the Motherland?

Asked by elbanditoroso (32062points) 2 months ago
29 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Would you try to avoid the call-up and try to escape?

Would you be willing to go to a Russian jail?

Or would you be thrilled to fight for Putin and potentially lose your life in his name?

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SABOTEUR's avatar

This question is presented as if the Russian military has the same perspective/ideology as the US or other nations. I’m sure that isn’t the case.

Being an America I would like to believe that my President would not request we pick up arms against another country unless he was justified in doing so. If I were still in the Service I would do as I was ordered to do…just like the Russian military appears to be doing.

rebbel's avatar

@SABOTEUR “unless he was justified in doing so.”
As in Iraq?

WhyNow's avatar

It would seem that Russian soldiers are demoralized, or so we are told. It hard to rally
foot soldiers if they are hungry or under supplied. That makes Putin all the more

WhyNow's avatar

@rebbel Just speaking for myself… I will never understand why we invaded Iraq.

Could it be, as trump said the military industrial complex is too close to the government.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@rebbel You’re looking at this from a perspective soldiers don’t have or aren’t allowed to question. They’re literally the property of whatever armed service they’ve joined. In the military you do what you’re told or face the consequences. Anyone saying they would do otherwise is simply being naive.

flutherother's avatar

Russians are fed a daily diet of lies from Russian State media which, if believed, would inspire most reservists to do their best for Mother Russia. However, the way the official message has changed and contradicted itself must give most Russians some pause for thought. In addition, the reservists will hear stories from the wounded who have returned to Russia with direct experience of the conflict. Their low morale will be infectious.

Kropotkin's avatar

It depends. Is Russian military indoctrination as effective as the USA’s?

Soldiers are brainwashed to kill for the state. Even in cases that they’re aware of that what they’re doing is wrong, they’ll often be swept along by the process and rarely risk insubordination.

gondwanalon's avatar

@Kropotkin I was active duty USA for 18 years (1977 though 1995) and part of the training was to think for ourselves and not follow unlawful orders.

ragingloli's avatar

And how many unlawful orders have you refused?

gondwanalon's avatar

Never been ordered to do something illegal. I worked in military medical centers in the USA and never went over seas or encountered a hostile enemy. Part of our training is understanding the series of treaties on the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war and injured enemy soldiers as determined by the Geneva Conventions. I was given a Geneva Convention card that gave me authorization to treat my injured soldiers if I became captured. I always doubled that that would be honored.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’d go fight but perhaps not gladly, they get bonuses and the military is desperate enough to recruit from prisons now. Refuse and you’re jailed so why bother resisting.

kritiper's avatar

I would do as it seems a lot of others are doing: Get on a planer and get the hell out of Russia!

WhyNow's avatar

@Kropotkin I remember reading about one complaint the world had against
the US was our ‘John Wayne’ cowboy mentality. What? It meant we were
individuals who were self reliant, rugged, able to think. Americans did not grow
up under some Duke or Count or whatever who was absolute ruler of his estate.

While your assessment of soldier is scary, it least applies to american soldiers.

Inspired_2write's avatar

In todays News it states that many Russian’s are getting a one way ticket ot of that country now.

ragingloli's avatar

“Never been ordered to do something illegal.”
Convenient, is it not?
It is easy to not follow unlawful orders, if you just assume that all the orders you get are lawful.

gondwanalon's avatar

No assumptions. It’s very simple. Orders that are contraindicated by the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions are illegal orders.

WhyNow's avatar

@ragingloli I think you are watching too many of those movies where the CIA
has trained a ‘hit squad.’

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gondwanalon Lots of those in Vietnam, I heard.

gondwanalon's avatar

@KNOWITALL Within the madness of war unlawful orders have been given. It’s terrible. Such atrocities should always be reported and harsh punishment given to the perpetrators.

chyna's avatar

Finland is closing its boarders due to so many Russians trying to leave. People are protesting in Russia and being arrested and told they will get 10 years in prison.

WhyNow's avatar

@chyna That IS horrible news!

elbanditoroso's avatar

Apparently there were more than 12000 arrests in Russia of anti-war protestors today, and flights to nearby countries (to escape) are booked for the next week.

jca2's avatar

If the Russian anti-war protesters can get to Florida, they’ll get a free flight to Martha’s Vineyard or Delaware.

WhyNow's avatar

^You just couldn’t let it go… I like it.

Demosthenes's avatar

Well, if I were a solider, I’m sure my chances of being enthusiastically on board with Putinism and the war in Ukraine would be higher, but I like to think I’d be one of the people fleeing the country or protesting right now. Judging by the people who are doing that, it’s certainly not the case that everyone in Russia buys the state propaganda. To be honest, the only situation in which I would be willing to fight a war is if I were in a Ukrainian’s situation, i.e. that of my homeland being invaded. Some proxy war in a far off land I have no personal connection to or an invasion of sovereign nation that didn’t attack my own nation are not valid justifications to me.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Demosthenes's avatar

Well, @ragingloli, are you going to answer being called an “attention-seeking nobody”? Haha.

Nonetheless, the discussion about “unlawful orders” seems only marginally related to the question. @elbanditoroso wasn’t asking if you’d obey unlawful orders in the midst of battle. The fact is that once the president of your nation has started a war, as a soldier you do not have a choice to fight based on whether you agree with that war in the first place (as @SABOTEUR was saying). So yes, a soldier may end up in Ukraine or Iraq fighting a war that is seen as illegal and unjustified by the majority of the world (and particularly the country being invaded), but not to your nation’s government. In which case, you would be stuck fighting it (hence some of the low morale among Russian soldiers in Ukraine). That is different from already being in a war, and being ordered by your commanding officer to do something unlawful (like the My Lai massacre).

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’ll also comment that in the 24 hours since I asked the original question, it seems like there are more than a few people trying to leave Russia, or learn how to break their own arms, or do various things to evade reporting for duty.

This, in addition to the protestors that have been arrested and jailed.

So, there is at least some leve of unwillingness to be called to duty.

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