Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Russia is sending its ethnic minorities to the front lines in Ukraine

By Amy Mackinnon

23 Sep 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Foreign Policy reports on why the Kremlin is rounding up ethnic minorities from poor and remote regions of Russia to fight in Ukraine—even as there is growing protest and resistance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial military mobilization on Wednesday sent shockwaves through Buryatia, a mountainous republic in eastern Siberia some 3,500 miles from Moscow.

As military recruiters began knocking on doors with summons in hand and almost a dozen schools in the region’s capital have been transformed into conscription centers, activists say some men in remote areas have resorted to hiding in the forest while others flee the country, with lengthy lines reported at the country’s land borders.

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