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TOPIC: conscription


To The Slaughter: Why Putin Can Count On So Many Russians Mobilizing For Their Death

Ever since Russia announced a “partial mobilization” of hundreds of thousands of new recruits, we’ve seen plenty of coverage of those evading the draft. But the real story is how many untrained and under-equipped citizens will blindly follow the Kremlin’s orders.


From the first days of mobilization in Russia, we have followed reports of the thousands of Russian men of conscription age rushing abroad to flee the draft: buying a one-way plane ticket, driving to the border, even trekking by foot to the safety of a neighboring country.

But this stream of thousands are negligible in the ocean of a nation of 140 million. What we haven’t read about this past week are the masses obediently receiving their summons and marching down to distribution centers.

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Some are already now sleeping on a bare floor or in the forest in a tent, waiting to be sent to a war zone with little or no training, equipment or supplies. These tens and soon hundreds of thousands will head to parts southward and westward as part of a senseless and flailing attempt to try to hold back the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

They are, in other words, marching off to the slaughter. And they know it well.

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Nord Stream Leaks, Abe Funeral, High-Speed Space Crash

👋 Ha’u!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Japan honors former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a controversial state funeral, unexplained gas leaks are reported on Nord Stream pipelines and NASA’s Dart mission succeeds, at high speed. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt looks at how European countries are dealing with the prospect of a winter energy crisis and the potential repercussions on their support for Ukraine.

[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]

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Bad Ruses, Good Reasons: How To Avoid Military Service In 5 Countries

In the countries that require military service, those who refuse to serve must either try to explain their exemption or find a creative short-cut to avoid the obligation. Here are some examples.

Military conscription has ebbed and flowed through history, typically depending on national security (wars), economics (jobs) and demography (young men). In recent years, many countries have outright eliminated the draft or replaced it with a civil service requirement. At the same time, other countries have been bringing back obligatory military service to respond to security threats or as a solution to rising high school dropout and unemployment rates. Morocco reinstated conscription in 2018 after 12 years, with a 12-month required military service for all men and women aged 19 to 25.

Amid newfound tensions around the Baltic Sea, the Swedish government also decided to reintroduce military conscription in March 2017, though for a limited number of citizens - 4,000 men and women were selected from a pool of 13,000.

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Child Soldiers In Syria: Assad Army Forces Minors To Fight, And Die

AL-HALBOUNI — Adel, a teenager, worked with his father at their small shop near al-Halbouni, not far from Damascus. By age 17, he had dropped out of school to support his family, as their financial situation grew desperate after years of war.

Adel wasn't a supporter of Syria's government, but that didn't prevent him from being forced to fight on its behalf. He was arrested at one of the army checkpoints in the town of Qudsaiya in the Damascus countryside, then sent off to battle.

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Niccolò Zancan

One Year Later, Survivor Of Lampedusa Disaster Starts Anew

The October 2013 shipwreck that killed 366 off the Italian coast moved the world to the plight of Africa's desperate migrants. A survivor from Eritrea tries to start a new life in Sweden.

ÄNGE — On Friday evening, after he has taken the bus home from his language school, Russom will buy 10 candles, three bottles of beer for his friends, and some orange juice, milk and honey for himself. With 14 fellow Eritreans who have wound up in the small Swedish town of Änge, he will mark this day around a simple kitchen table.

Friday is both a tragic and happy anniversary. The group will light the candles and read aloud the names of their friends who died off the coast of Lampedusa last Oct. 3. And then, after the prayers, in the middle of this forest of trees destined to make furniture, they'll look to drive away their nightmares, offering a drink to them all.

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