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Millions of Ukrainians Dodging Draft to 'Avoid Certain Death' Fighting for NATO

© AFP 2023 / GUILLERMO ARIASUkrainians seeking for asylum in the United States sit near a camp on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro Crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on April 2, 2022
Ukrainians seeking for asylum in the United States sit near a camp on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro Crossing port in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on April 2, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.09.2023
US officials estimate that up to half a million troops have been killed or wounded in Ukraine to date, with Russia's MoD calculating that Kiev lost over 43,000 troops during the summer counteroffensive alone. Military analyst Viktor Litovkin told Sputnik why the Zelensky regime won’t be able to continue stuffing men into the "meat grinder" forever.
Ukraine's "permanent mobilization" campaign is suffering setbacks amid the catastrophic outflow of fighting-age men from the country, with the Ukrainian Institute of the Future calculating recently that the country's population had dropped to just 29 million people as of 2023, down from 41.1 million in 2021, and just a shadow of its 52 million peak in 1991.
Amid the crisis, alternative media and even some legacy outlets have reported on the growing difficulties facing Ukrainian authorities in recruiting more conscripts for the NATO-backed proxy war against Russia, with widespread reports of draft officers grabbing men off the street, draconian restrictions on travel abroad, and demands for large-scale bribes from anyone seeking to avoid being sent to fight. Last month, President Volodymyr Zelensky dramatically fired officials in charge of conscription in every region across the country as conscription-related corruption charges gained international attention.

"The situation in Ukraine with conscription is very bad,” Viktor Litovkin, a retired Russian Army colonel and veteran military analyst, told Sputnik. "There really just aren't enough people, because almost half of the population of Ukraine is abroad in Europe and in Russia."

At the same time, he said, hundreds of thousands of "young, healthy males ages 17-50 who could be having children, building houses, growing bread, and so on and so forth" have instead been sent to fight Russia in a conflict which even some mainstream US experts have now admitted Ukraine can't win.

"To take just one simple example: in the two months of the counteroffensive, they lost 43,000 people killed and 3,000 armored vehicles destroyed…For comparison, just so that it’s clear what these numbers mean, during the 10 year conflict in Afghanistan [in the 1980s, ed.], the USSR lost 15,000 people killed. 15,000 in 10 years, and here 43,000 in two months. Therefore, in Ukraine, people understand that they are being called up into a meat grinder," Litovkin said.

A destroyed tank of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.08.2023
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"They are not really taught to fight, not given [the right] weapons, etc. Therefore, they understand that they are not fighting for Ukraine, for their motherland. They're fighting for Zelensky, they’re fighting for the interests of the United States, for NATO, and so on," the observer added, suggesting Ukrainian conscripts are eager to surrender, and would do so more often if not for the fascist militias working as blocking detachments to keep them in line.

Ultimately, Litovkin doesn't believe that a further tightening of conscription rules will "save" Zelensky. "They’re now trying to force European countries to deport Ukrainian men from their countries…But this is unlikely to do any good, because if the Europeans begin deporting the 'escapees', they will run elsewhere, to the Middle East, Africa, anywhere just so they don't have to fight."

Inside the country, he said, people have been disoriented and frightened into silence, or propagandized into believing that the ever-expanding graveyards are filled with the "defenders of Ukraine." Because of this, society at large hasn't risen up in protest, Litovkin said.

Could NATO Mercs Save the Day?

Efforts by Ukraine and their NATO "partners" to shore up troop numbers with mercenaries won’t save the situation either, the observer said, pointing out that Ukraine is already filling out its ranks with NATO "instructors," "volunteers," and mercenaries from Latin America to Poland.
"Somewhere around 10,000 Poles are fighting for Ukraine. There Americans there as well. But they, as a rule, leave the country after running into the first serious difficulties after getting paid. In Ukraine [foreigners] are specially monitored so that they aren't captured by our forces. But from time to time they’re captured anyway. Just recently, our forces took six Poles prisoner. But this isn’t talked about loudly," Litovkin said, noting that the ranks fill up the pool for prisoner exchanges.

"Of course, this won't help. The problem here also is that they are fighting without air support. They're fighting according to NATO templates. But NATO and the United States have never fought with an enemy equal to themselves in strength and firepower. They would always bomb some country from the air, be it Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and only afterward send in the troops. But in Ukraine this hasn't worked. Ukraine has no aviation, and NATO air power does not fly over Ukraine, because the skies over the country belong to Russian pilots. We have absolute air superiority. Therefore, Ukraine is made to go on the attack without air cover, in flagrant violation of any and all rules of modern warfare," the military observer summed up.

Ukrainian servicemen load a truck with the FGM-148 Javelin, American man-portable anti-tank missile provided by US to Ukraine as part of military support. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.09.2023
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