Day 213: Putin Toughens Punishment For Refusal to Fight; NATO Condemns Referenda

Photo: Reuters [via BBC News]

The Facts

  • Days after ordering a military draft to enlist 300k troops to fight in Ukraine, Russian Pres. Putin on Saturday signed amendments to strengthen the punishment for voluntary surrender and refusal to fight by up to 10 years in prison. He also signed another law that makes it easier for foreigners who enlist in the Russian army to obtain citizenship.

  • This comes as, according to the independent monitoring group OVD-Info, Russian authorities detained more than 700 people across 32 cities on Saturday protesting the mobilization efforts.

The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

The referenda being held in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine are a brazen exercise in propaganda. Russia has no right to essentially annex any Ukrainian territory, and these referenda are completely illegitimate. Thankfully, the votes will have no impact on the ground or on Ukraine's resolve.

Pro-Russia narrative

The referenda are being held in an open and transparent way, and the people of eastern and southern Ukraine have the full right to secede from those in Kyiv who have oppressed them. The move is also highly strategic, as Moscow's opponents will suddenly find themselves engaged in a war on Russian territory, not only de facto but legally as well.

Public figures in this story

Establishment split



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