18:17 03.10.2022


Mobilization in a russian style, or Will the "Chmobiki" be able to change the situation at the front?

5 min read
Mobilization in a russian style, or Will the "Chmobiki" be able to change the situation at the front?

Ihor Zhdanov, Information Defense Project, The “Open Policy” Foundation


The partial mobilization in russia, which “suddenly” turned into a general mobilization, vividly revealed all the problems inherent not only to the russian army, but also to the entire sick state of russia.

Forbes magazine prize competition

russian-style mobilization has turned into a competition of military commissars: which one will be the first to enter the list of billionaires according to Forbes magazine. They mobilized not those who were needed, but those who could not redeem themselves from the “gentle embrace” of their homeland. This led to the situation that not very healthy pensioners aged 60+, but with the necessary MAS (military accounting specialty) were summoned to the assembly points.

And the mobilization plan has been formally implemented, and the money in the pocket of the military commissar has significantly increased (gossiping tongues say that the “issue” could have been resolved for 100,000 rubles).

russian men, who before that enthusiastically painted “Z” on their cars, began to leave en masse abroad, fleeing from service in the russian armed forces. In just a few days, the number of immigrant deserters reached 300,000 people, which exceeds the number of the russian invasion group as of February 24th.

A significant part of the rashists were not ready to die for “mother-russia”. In order to leave the borders of their homeland, russian men were standing in multi-kilometer queues at border checkpoints, bought extra expensive tickets for airplanes, or used bicycles.

However, they did not dare to organise mass protests.

Mass protests russian style

There were few exceptions to this rule. And to be precise, we can cite only one single example - Dagestan.

By a strange coincidence, the main burden of mobilization for some reason fell on the national republics.

On the one hand, this significantly relieved the tension in the capital, and other russian industrial and cultural centers. Protest actions in these regions were isolated and unsystematic. Ukrainians were shocked by the facts that the police beat and arrested protesters, and dozens of other demonstrators did not even try to help their comrades, but rather were simultaneously taking pictures of all this on their phones.

On the other hand, in some republics, in particular in Dagestan, the decision to mobilize led to clashes with the police, mass protests and actions of disobedience, which could only be neutralized by refusing to hold them.

russian society was not ready for nationwide mass protests. Raised up according to the traditions of paternalism and silent obedience to the authorities, russian citizens once again clearly proved that they are not citizens at all, but subjects of the russian dictator. They are the subjects who are ready to endure abuse by their omnipotent and God-like tsar, and in the last resort, they are ready to go out on the streets and take a selfie - that's how good they are.

Will Chmobiki[1] change the situation at the front?

The number of one million citizens that putin wants to mobilize, at first glance, looks significant.

However, modern warfare is not just an infantry war. This is a war of artillery, aviation, missiles, UAVs, EW, IT workers and other modern weapons and equipment. No one will deny that a large number of well-trained assault infantry with the necessary weapons and means of reinforcement can significantly change the military situation.

However, this is purely a theoretical statement. But in order to change the situation on the russian front in practice, there are at least two “but”.

The first one is about the establishment of some separate units. Many Chmobiki are sent directly to the front without elementary military retraining, most likely to be used as cannon fodder to patch “holes” in the BTGr. And from the weakest ones, rear guard units or rear garrisons will be formed.

The second “but” is that russia has simply run out of modern equipment and weapons. Weapons used in the 1960s and 1980s, rusty automatic weapons and cars that will probably never go anywhere are being “raked out” from long-term storage bases to equip the mobilized combatants.

It is clear that fighting with such weapons and with the Armed Forces in its modern version is hopeless and doomed to failure in advance.

Therefore, it is unlikely that it is possible to significantly change the situation at the front by means of such mobilization “in a russian style”. The russian authorities, despite everything, stubbornly continue to use methods and slogans well proven by history – “we will throw hats to our enemies” and “russian women still give birth”.



[1]Chmobiki are russian citizens who were mobilized as a result of partial mobilization in russia in September 2022.

Not to be confused with mobs - Ukrainian citizens, residents of the Luhansk region and the Donetsk region, who were illegally mobilized into the “people's militia” of the terrorist organizations “DPR” and “LPR” after the beginning of russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine on February 24th, 2022.