‘How do I break my arm?’: Russians seek innovative ways to avoid military service in wake of Putin’s 'mobilisation'

‘How do I break my arm?’: Russians seek innovative ways to avoid military service in wake of Putin’s 'mobilisation'
Vladamir Putin has called for 'partial mobilisation' as Russia continues losing troops, military equipment and hardware in Ukraine's invasion (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Following Vladimir Putin's call for a "partial mobilisation" of the country's military reserves to aid in supporting his ill-fated invasion of Ukraine, large numbers of Russian males between the ages of 18 and 27 are emigrating abroad.

Potential conscripts are hurrying to leave the country, causing major traffic jams at the Finland-Russia border crossings. To escape being called up, however, some Russians in danger are resorting to even more drastic tactics. One Ukrainian responded to the Defence Ministry of Ukraine's tweet claiming Russians were "now actively Googling how to avoid mobilisation and stay alive" with a snapshot of Google traffic data in Russia demonstrating an increase in searches for "how to break your own arm." Putin accused leaders of NATO member states of threatening to deploy "nuclear mass destruction weapons on Russia.” According to Daily Star, he said, "The aggressive anti-Russian policy of the West has crossed all lines." His poorly defined "partial mobilisation" was the largest since the Second World War. He might also perhaps start a nuclear war on the continent of Europe with his threatening remarks. The very real personal threat to Putin, if Russia's war on Ukraine is perceived as a failure, is highlighted by his increasingly frantic language. His next move may be to receive a broader call-up. Following Putin's statement, the majority of flights out of Russia were sold out on Wednesday, September 21 and the few tickets that were still available cost up to $2000.


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"How to break an arm" search is trending in Russia following Putin's call for civilians to join the army (Photo credit screenshot @DefenceU/Twitter)

Some Russians have already left the nation out of concern about being drafted for military service. A 23-year-old math instructor who identified himself only as Alexander claimed to be medically unsuitable for military duty in an interview with the Moscow Times. However, he said, “the day the war started, I got a doctor’s diagnosis saying that I’m not ill and therefore I’m not exempt from serving a year in the military.” Currently, he is residing in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, and is expected to do so until the conflict is over.

Along with substantial human deaths, Russia has also suffered huge losses of military equipment that are getting harder to replace now that stringent international sanctions are in place. The Ukrainian army has grabbed a T-90M, one of Russia's most modern tanks, in close to pristine condition, close to Kharkiv. They have a fantastic chance to evaluate the newest operational tank used by the Russian army and discover its flaws. Prior to the introduction of international sanctions, Russian tank makers depended on advanced western technology for essential components like high-tech gunsights but now they are obliged to rely on subpar domestically produced ones.

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