December 2, 2022

Russian military-recruitment centers attacked amid mobilization pushback

Resistance against Russia’s mobilization for its war in Ukraine took an increasingly violent turn as two recruitment centers came under attack and borders remained clogged with fighting-age men seeking to leave the country, Alan Cullison and Ann M. Simmons report in the WSJ. A Russian man opened fire at a military-recruiting station in Siberia, critically wounding its commander, hours after another man rammed a car into the entrance of a different recruitment center then set it afire with Molotov cocktails.

Monday’s violence and growing lines at the border are the latest signs that Vladimir Putin’s initiative to reinvigorate a stalling war effort in Ukraine could backfire, pushing some Russian men to choose between being called up and leaving the country. The mobilization order has also laid bare resentments in Russia’s far-flung poorer regions which have been targets of recruitment drives.

The costly troop mobilization, plunging energy prices and a new round of Western sanctions are further hurting Russia’s already embattled economy and undermining the financial underpinnings of Putin’s war in Ukraine, Georgi Kantchev, Yuliya Chernova and Joe Wallace report. “Mobilization is another serious hit on the Russian economy, especially because of the increased uncertainty,” said Maxim Mironov, professor of finance at Madrid’s IE Business School. “And it happens when oil and gas revenues are beginning to dry up.”

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