On September 21, International Day of Peace, the Russian government announced a partial mobilization: Reservists will receive orders to report to a military recruiting station for transfer to the front to continue the criminal war in Ukraine.
At the same time, attempts are underway to recruit anyone who might tempted by money and promises of benefits and solutions to their problems: The authorities are recruiting convicted persons in prisons, foreign nationals in migration centers, and even homeless people in shelters.
People sentenced to long terms for especially grave crimes are being promised pardons, foreign nationals are being promised Russian citizenship, and soldiers performing compulsory military service are being promised enrollment at a university. These are all, of course, legal questions outside the competence of security and military officials.
Both the recruitment itself and these promises contravene laws of Russia and other countries. The embassies of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and other Central Asian countries have issued statements reminding their citizens that they could face serious punishment (up to 10 years in prison, possible confiscation of property) for participating in hostilities on the territory of a foreign state. The Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Russia “warns fellow citizens against forming volunteer battalions and/or participating in hostilities on the territory of a foreign state, which will result in criminal liability. The Embassy calls on fellow citizens to avoid responding to provocations and to show caution.”
Now it is especially important for anyone who could be affected by recruitment or even mobilization to show caution. Both are provocations that cannot be responded to. We cannot become killers and participants in the crimes against humanity that the military is perpetrating in Ukraine. Spontaneously emerging “new recruitment practices” employing tempting promises and the new “laws” adopted by the State Duma in one day do not in any way justify crimes or the flouting of any law, be it international, Russian, or Uzbek.
To stay within the law, neither foreign nationals nor Russian citizens can participate in this war.